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Brodhead stuns Big Foot
Brodheads Ned Slocum is contested by Big Foots Mark Schauf on a shot in the paint during the first half of a game Tuesday. Brodhead won the game, 59-58. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
BRODHEAD - With each drive to the basket, Brodhead junior Ned Slocum gained confidence and took a bump along the way. Slocum had the battle wound to prove it as he used cotton to stop his nose from bleeding.

Slocum, the Cardinals' go-to player, delivered, hitting two clutch free throws with 8.8 seconds to go to help Brodhead stun Walworth Big Foot 59-58 Tuesday.

Slocum scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to propel the Cardinals to a comeback win. The Cardinals rallied from a 12-point deficit.

"We knew from the get-go we had to fight," Slocum said. "We knew that it would be a dogfight. It will give us a lot of momentum."

It was a whirlwind final 1 minute. Big Foot senior Alex Landers was called for an offensive foul after he pushed off and tried to create space with 53.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Slocum was called for an offensive foul on a charge with 27.1 seconds to go. Big Foot junior Zak Greco missed a free throw and Slocum drew a foul scrambling for a loose ball. He made two free throws with 8.8 seconds left to give the Cardinals their first lead at 59-58.

With the Cardinals clinging to a one-point lead, Greco appeared to travel on pressure from Slocum when he rolled on the court with the ball. However, with 4.8 seconds to go, an official ruled he called timeout. The Cardinals survived a potential buzzer-beater by the Chiefs.

"If we defended, we were still in a position to win the game," Brodhead coach Nick Jarvis said was his message to the Cardinals after it appeared Greco traveled before the timeout. "Regardless of whether it was traveling or not, we were still in a position to win. They were in a good position to get a good look in the end. We dodged a bullet."

Brodhead (1-2, 1-1 Rock Valley South) got off to a rocky start. The Chiefs made 8 of their first 12 shots and hit five 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes, 30 seconds in the first quarter. Greco drilled two 3-pointers and senior Chandler Hehr knocked down a 3-pointer to extend the Chiefs' lead to 21-11 with 2:38 left in the period.

"They came out firing," Slocum said. "We adjusted and coach Jarvis told us to get in their face. We adjusted and started finishing possessions."

The Cardinals switched to a 2-3 zone in the second quarter to limit the Chiefs' second-chance scoring opportunities. Big Foot had nine offensive rebounds in the first half and out-rebounded the Cardinals 35-19 in the game. Big Foot senior Nico Tovar scored a team-high 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three blocks.

"That rebounding edge is something," Jarvis said. "I'm getting sick of that. We talked at the half about finishing possessions. They were in a position to crash the boards and get offensive rebounds and putbacks. It's something we have to continue to work on."

The Cardinals trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half. Brodhead senior Tad Harnack gave the Cardinals a lift, scoring all nine of his points in the first half. Freshman teammate Parker Johnson hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with seven points.

The tide started to turn when the Cardinals went on a 10-3 third quarter run. Brodhead senior Josiah DeLorme, who scored 13 points, drove in for two layups to spark the spurt. Brodhead senior Lukas Tresemer scored twice down low and Slocum's layup with 5:41 left in the third quarter cut the Chiefs' lead to 40-35.

Brodhead junior Josh Pickel drilled a 3-pointer late in the third quarter and Slocum's layup early in the fourth quarter tied the game at 52. That set the stages for a frantic finish.

The Cardinals got into the bonus each half and finished 18 of 33 at the free throw line. None were more important than Slocum's two free throws with 8.8 seconds to go. The Cardinals turned up the pressure on defense in the second half. Slocum had three steals and Pickel had two steals. The Chiefs committed 10 of their 15 turnovers in the second half. The Chiefs also struggled at the free throw line making just 4 of 11.

Shooting 33 free throws in a close game can make a difference. Jarvis liked the aggressive approach the Cardinals used in the second half.

"Ned did a great job of attacking the basket," he said. "He's a special player. For a while there, he took over."