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Men’s Basketball: Lockport grad Landon Gamble goes out in style for North Central College

Updated: February 22, 2014 11:24PM



It may not rank with Ted Williams hitting a home run in his last at-bat or John Elway riding off into the sunset a Super Bowl champion, but North Central College senior Landon Gamble couldn’t have ended his storied career much better than he did Saturday at Elmhurst.

On the day when he became the program’s all-time leader in games played with 112 and moved into fourth place on the school’s all-time scoring list, he poured in a career-high 33 points in an 80-76 CCIW win in the season finale.

Gamble, a Lockport graduate, shot 11-of-16 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line, grabbing a game-high nine rebounds as well.

“Personally, I think that’s one of the best games I could have possibly had, a career high,” Gamble said. “It was a great way to go out as a senior. I couldn’t ask for more than that.”

The Cardinals (14-11, 7-7) started strong, holding a 32-23 lead at the half. Gamble was in the middle of it, scoring 17 points to go with seven boards in the half. With 2:35 left in the first half, a pair of free throws pushed him past Robert Brown into fourth in the all-time scoring list. He finished with 1,616 career points.

“I was pleased with the way Landon finished around the basket,” NCC coach Todd Raridon said. “We did a good job of getting him the ball. He sees a lot of double teams, and they had to double team him eventually. Give him credit, give the players credit, they got him the ball for him to score.”

Gamble cruised past his single-game career high with 7:13 left, giving the Cardinals a 56-50 lead. NCC appeared to be in command with 1:39 left, holding a 72-62 lead after a free throw from senior Brandon Williams.

But Elmhurst (14-11, 6-8) didn’t go away quietly. The Bluejays kept chipping away, cutting the lead to 75-73 with 31 seconds left on a Nathan Rogers three-pointer. But a three-point play from senior Vince Kmiec with 22 seconds left was enough to help the Cardinals hang on.

Williams scored 17 points and Kmiec scored 13 in their final games for the Cardinals. Guard Pat Rourke graduates as well.

Kyle Wuest led Elmhurst with 18 points. Will Nixon scored 16 and Taylor Baxter added 11.

Gamble closed out one of the best careers in North Central history in the win, an honor he doesn’t take lightly.

“For me, it shows all the hard work and everything I put in the four years I was here,” Gamble said. “It’s a great accomplishment for me and I’m proud to say I was able to do that. It’s something I can look back on. It means a lot to me.”



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