In the history of Franklin and Oak Creek boys basketball, what happened Friday night in a noisy Knight gym will go down as one of the real good ones.
Five lead changes in the last 1:33, the final four of them all on 3-pointers. Not surprisingly, the decibel level matched the level of excitement as by the end, it was so deafening that no one could hear the PA announcer.
Franklin senior guard Nick Bobos was just happy to have the last word, one that everyone could hear.
Bobos, playing just his second game since suffering a left ankle injury in late December, popped to the top of the key, took a pass from teammate Colin Ksobiech and lofted a moon ball of a 3-pointer that found the bottom of the net with 3.2 seconds left.
The shot lifted the Sabers to a 61-59 lead and when Harrison Cleary's contested jumper from the right baseline went a bit wide for the Knights, the Sabers and Bobos had one of the most amazing wins they could remember.
"Colin just made a great pass, the team trusted me and I knocked it down," said Bobos. "I actually thought it would be long when I let it go.
"This was just so much fun. The atmosphere was just nuts. It was so loud it was hard to maintain focus. You just had to try and play smart."
His effort impressed a disappointed but still proud Oak Creek coach Mike Jossie.
"The kid just came back from an injury and now he has a memory he'll never forget," said Jossie of Bobos.
And neither will many in attendance at the lidlifter to the second Oak Creek/Franklin boy-girl doubleheader of the season.
"Just a hell of a game," said Franklin coach Tim Hogan. "Nick (Bobos) is such a clutch player especially playing just his second game since Dec. 28. He did such a great job finishing his shots."
With the win, the Sabers (4-6 in Southeast Conference play and 8-9 overall) earned a season sweep over their friendly rivals the Knights (1-8, 4-10).
It was a game both could come away from feeling good about themselves.
First of all, the Knights could have rolled over early in the second quarter, as the Sabers used their extreme height advantage (no Oak Creek starter over 6-0) to great advantage in building a 26-10 lead.
Senior 6-7 center Chad Kanugh would score 12 of his game-high 24 points for Franklin in the second quarter, but behind senior guard Cordarius Johnson, who would score nine of his 11 points down the stretch in the period, the Knights cut the margin to 32-24 at the half.
And Oak Creek was just getting started as the Knights started the third period with a 13-1 run to erase the lead. When Tristan Garivay hit a nifty backcut lay-up, the Knights had a 35-34 lead with 3:34 left in the third.
It was just starting to get interesting at that point. Cleary's 3-pointer at the 1:13 mark helped Oak Creek keep the lead heading into the fourth at 43-40.
Jossie, who had been upset at the lack of effort from the Knights in the December defeat at the hands of the Sabers, was greatly heartened by the rally.
"We got them to play a man defense, which I knew we could do something against and then we finally got some good looks and hit some good shots," he said. "...I'll never fault the heart or the passion the kids put into things tonight."
You could say that about both teams. The Sabers regained their composure at the start of the fourth. Kanugh converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Bryce Pierzchalski hit both a trey and a duece from the field to make it 50-45 Franklin with 3:36 left.
It was still 53-48 Franklin with 2:29 left when everybody went all in.
Cleary (20 points on the night), hit a baseline 3 to close it 53-51 with 2:11 to go, and then after a Franklin offensive foul, the Knights' Alex Medenwalt converted a backdoor lay-up on a nice pass from Johnson to tie the score with 1:47 left.
Kanugh then fought his way past a double-team to take a contested lob and put in a lay-up to make it 55-53 Franklin with 1:33 left.
After that effort though, the long-range bombers took over.
Oak Creek's Macen Leonardi started it with a shot from the left wing at the 1:07 mark to make it 56-55 Knights.
With 41 seconds to go, Bobos struck for Franklin from the wing to make it 58-56 Franklin.
After an Oak Creek time-out, Medenwalt got a nice hometown bounce on the rim to put in still another 3 to give the Knights their last lead at 59-58 with 15 seconds left.
Franklin called a time-out, but whatever Hogan had drawn up, broke down very quickly as the Sabers started to look shaky, but then Ksobiech made his pass and Bobos hit his shot.
Just to add more drama, there were some clock issues at the end. Hogan thought the Knights got too much time put back on the clock after a time-out, and only when Cleary's shot didn't go in could he breath again.
"What an amazing game," said Hogan. "We had our run early, then they had their run. Nick (Bobos) and Bryce (Pierzchalski) both hit huge shots and Chad (Kanugh) played his best game of the year.
"I thought we showed great composure down the stretch."
Bobos, who said that his ankle is about 80 percent right now, added 11 points and Ksobiech nine for the Sabers as Medenwalt had 17, and Garivay nine for the Knights.
"It was coming down to whoever had the ball last and it was unfortunate that they were able to make one more play than we did," said Jossie. "I was frustrated but not by the effort.
"Just a great game."
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