Harrison Niego walked to the bench battered and a bit broken. His hand required a bandage. He wore a deep smile. “My role on the team is to be a leader and the team expects me to step up and make big plays with the game on the line,” he said.
Niego scored 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as No. 20 Lyons survived Naperville North 59-56 in double overtime in a Jack Tosh Classic quarterfinal Monday at York.
Lyons (11-2) will take on No. 8 Lake Forest at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals.
Niego drilled two free throws with 16.3 seconds remaining for the three-point edge. Naperville North worked the ball on the perimeter before missing a 3-pointer in the final second. Niego scored his team’s final six points in the two overtimes.
His 3-pointer from the left wing marked the final lead change, putting the Lions up 57-55.
“I like taking the shots in those situations,” Niego said.
Lyons led by as many as 12 points in the first half before experiencing an extended scoreless stretch of more than eight minutes that lasted from the second quarter into the third quarter. Naperville North scored the final 12 points of the first half, forcing a 25-all tie at the break.
The game featured five ties and two lead changes in the fourth quarter. Twice Naperville North’s Zach Tuxhorn (12 points) drilled 3-pointers to knot the score. Cam Hardy’s jumper from the free-throw line with less than a second remaining negated a Joe Brunner layup and forced the first overtime.
Lyons led by four in the first overtime only to watch Mitch Lewis (19 points) hit a floater and then record a steal and layup. Naperville North had the final shot of the first overtime only to watch Jelani McClain Jr.’s jumper fall short.
Everything was fluid. Very little separated the two. Lyons had four players reach double figures, Naperville North three.
Brunner and Joaquan Phipps added 11 points each and Connor Niego contributed 10 points.
Baylor Griffin scored 16 points for the Huskies.