Boys Basketball: Bloom beats buzzer, Homewood-Flossmoor
By Michael O’Brien email@example.com January 22, 2013 9:24PM
Bloom's Nhyree Mitchell goes up for a shot while guarded by Homewood-Flossmoor's Thaddeus Little (22). | John Booz~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 24, 2013 6:24AM
Bloom’s Zerell Jackson never had hit a game-winning shot before Tuesday. The talented junior guard was on the Blazing Trojans’ varsity squad last season, apprenticing behind Donald Moore, so there wasn’t a ton of playing time.
Even before that, Jackson had never managed to hit that magical buzzer-beater. Not freshman year, or in junior high or elementary school or youth ball.
He even missed his first attempt Tuesday; it was swatted away by Homewood-Flossmoor’s 6-foot-8 forward Tai Odiase.
Jackson stuck with the play. He drove the lane and drained a floater as the buzzer sounded to give Bloom a 43-41 win over the Vikings in Chicago Heights.
“First one ever,” Jackson said. “I kind of knew I was going to shoot (on the first attempt). But I didn’t think he was going to block the shot. I didn’t think he was that big. When I got the ball back I was just hoping to get something off before the buzzer.”
Dejahown Freeman, Bloom’s senior leader, was proud of his teammate.
“They were face-guarding me on the last play,” Freeman said. “I’m glad he has the confidence know to take that shot like a leader. He put it on himself and then he stayed after it when he missed.”
Jackson scored 16 points and Freeman added 10 and four rebounds for Bloom (15-3).
“Jackson learned playing behind Moore,” Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. “He really sets the tone with his defense more than his offense. If he isn’t scoring he’s still a big factor for us.”
Bloom took over 1:30 off the clock before getting the final shot.
“I’m not surprised H-F didn’t put us at the line,” Williams said. “Defense is their M.O. that’s how they play. We just got the bounce.”
Thaddeus Little led Homewood-Flossmoor (12-5) with eight points and Maurius Hill added seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Vikings struggled to score in the first three quarters, but caught fire to start the fourth, opening with a 11-0 burst to lead 37-33.
“When they got the lead coach told us to just stay calm and focused,” Freeman said.