That was expected.
But in a tie game and under 15 seconds left, when Norwalk standout Brandon Haraway drove toward the basket for the potential game-winning basket — he instead found an open Garrett Chapin along the baseline.
Chapin easily put the basket in with 9.2 seconds left in what proved to be the winning score in Norwalk’s 49-46 win over visiting Perkins on Friday in an SBC Lake Division game at Norwalk High School.
“All week in practice with Coach (Nick) Lee, we worked on staying on the block and expecting the pass from Brandon,” Chapin said. “With him, it can come out of anywhere. So I stayed on the block and was ready for it.”
With the win, Norwalk improved to 12-2 overall and 7-1 in the Lake — good for first place with just two league games remaining — and have won 10 straight games.
The Truckers led Friday’s game by 10 (45-35) with 3:30 remaining, but the Pirates tied the game and had a chance to win.
“We didn’t play our best basketball tonight,” Chapin said. “But as long as we come out with a win, that’s all we’re worried about.”
The game had a similar feel to the first meeting between the two teams, when Norwalk won, 50-49, on a Kyler Lacy free throw with no time left on Dec. 20 at Perkins.
Perkins (8-7, 3-4) led 11-9 after one quarter, but the top defense in the SBC Lake then went to work. The Truckers held the Pirates to one basket — a running layup by Isaac Grude with just 1.1 seconds left in the half — for the entire second quarter.
Meanwhile, Norwalk also struggled against the Pirates, who came in with the second-best defense in the league behind the Truckers. Haraway, who leads the Lake in scoring (22.8) and was averaging over 26 points per game in his last six games, did not score until the 1:15 mark of the second quarter.
Leading 16-13 at halftime, Norwalk appeared to take control of the game in the third.
Tied at 19, the Truckers went on a 10-0 scoring run, as Chapin and Austin Brown scored twice, and Haraway added one basket. A Garrett Obringer 3-pointer put the Truckers up 32-21 with 2:42 left in the third, but again the Pirates did not go away.
Perkins trailed 32-25 entering the fourth, then got a basket from Sam Siegel and a 3-pointer from Zach Voight to pull within 32-30 with 7:05 left. Norwalk again appeared to have the answer, as Ryan Sowders answered with a big 3, then Haraway and Sowders both scored in transition for a 39-30 lead with 5:26 left.
It was 45-35 on two free throws by Haraway with 3:45 remaining, then the Pirates made their big run and nearly stole one.
Voight scored on a short jumper, then Siegel made two free throws and added a steal and layup with 2:46 left to get within 45-41. It was 46-41 with 2:21 left after Haraway split two free throws, but Voight nailed a 3, then after a careless Norwalk turnover, scored inside to tie the game at 46 with 1:44 left — and drew the foul.
Voight missed the free throw, but after another empty Norwalk turnover, Perkins had the ball with 46.7 seconds left and a chance to take the lead. However, Sowders and Brown trapped the Pirates in the left corner, and in trying to pass, Perkins turned the ball over to Norwalk.
Haraway then began to dribble out the final 30-plus seconds, eventually finding Chapin for the basket and 48-46 lead. Siegel then took a running layup that was off the mark, and Brown rebounded and was fouled with just 0.8 seconds left. He split the free throws for the final margin, as the Pirates did not get another shot attempt.
“Perkins is a good team and are a lot like us with the way they play offense and defense,” Brown said. “It’s hard to score against them. There are always runs in a game, they had one at the end, but we were able to hold them off.”
Chapin finished with 14 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting to pace the Truckers. Haraway added 12 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Lacy also had seven points and four rebounds.
Norwalk coach Steve Gray knew his team was fortunate to win.
“I don’t think you have to lose a game to learn a lesson,” Gray said. “And I think we learned a lot of lessons tonight, and learned a lot about ourselves. There are many different ways to win a game.
“Lacy’s offensive rebound on a missed free throw was huge,” he added. “Then Sowders and Brown got a double team on the sideline and they were out of timeouts there at the end. They did everything right and we got the turnover. It’s a long game, and we and made one more play than them to win the game. It’s tough to win, and we found a way.”
Norwalk made it a sweep in the junior varsity game with a 47-35 win. For the JV Truckers (8-6), Daniel Traczek had 10 points, six rebounds and three steals, and Kyler Kromer added 10 points, four assists and three rebounds. Andrew Mozina and Justin Sommers each scored seven points.
Norwalk entertains Ontario (6-5) tonight in a non-league game.
PERKINS (8-7, 3-4)
Sam Siegel 4-5—13; Joe Printy 3-1—7; Isaac Grude 1-2—4; Michael Wade 2-0—4; Zach Voight 7-0—18. TOTALS 17-8—46.
NORWALK (12-2, 7-1)
Brandon Haraway 3-6—12; Garrett Chapin 6-2—14; Kyler Lacy 3-0—7; Ryan Sowders 2-1—6; Garrett Obringer 2-0—5; Austin Brown 2-1—5. TOTALS 18-10—49.
Perkins 11 2 12 21 — 46
Norwalk 9 7 16 17 — 49
3-point FGs: (P) Voight 4; (N) Obringer, Lacy, Sowders
JV: Norwalk, 47-35