Senior forward Omar Illidge picked up a loose ball among a scramble of bodies and launched an off-balance three-pointer that fell through as the buzzer sounded to lift 13th-ranked Madison to a 72-69 double-overtime victory over host Herndon in a AAA Great Falls District game last night.
Herndon's Kevin Cook slapped the ball away from Illidge at the top of the three-point arc with about three seconds remaining, but Illidge snatched the ball again and released the shot in time.
"After I lost the ball, I just wanted to get it back," said Illidge, a transfer from Edison. "I tried looking at the clock, but I couldn't, so I just let 'er rip."
Madison (12-2, 4-2 in the district) rebounded from a 10-point halftime deficit. Guard Chris Hardy (17 points) led the Warhawks' comeback with 11 third-period points and they had a 48-45 lead after three quarters.
However, Herndon (10-4, 3-3) took a 59-56 lead on Joey Phillips's basket with 1:30 left in regulation, only to have Kevin Wenk force overtime (59-59) with a three-point shot with 1:06 remaining.
Luteke Kalombo led the Hornets with 25 points, including all nine of his team's third-quarter points and four in the first overtime, which ended 65-65.
Illidge (18 points) opened the decisive overtime with a leaning drive for a score, and Madison led by 69-67 before reserve Ed Bready tipped in a missed shot to tie the game with 14 seconds left, setting up the Warhawks' final possession.
"Kevin knocked the ball away, but the kid picked up the ball and just turned around and drilled it," said Herndon Coach Gary Hall. "It was great defense and the kid just made a great play."
Dominance on the boards and two second-quarter runs lifted Herndon to a 36-26 lead at intermission. Andrew Frieden grabbed 12 of his 17 rebounds in the first half to lead the Hornets to a 23-11 advantage in that category, and Kalombo's 12 points, eight in the second quarter, carried the offense.
With Herndon leading by 18-13 early in the second quarter, Cook (16 points) scored six straight points and Kalombo added a short jumper to cap an 8-2 Herndon run for a 26-15 lead.