Bradley-Bourbonnais beats Andrew in triple-overtime classic: ‘How did we win? How did we win?’

The Boilermakers’ 81-80 triple-overtime win Friday in Tinley Park was full of too many twists and turns and too much drama to boil down to one simple statistic.

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Bradley-Bourbonnais players celebrate their triple-overtime win over Andrew.

Bradley-Bourbonnais players celebrate their triple-overtime win over Andrew.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Bradley-Bourbonnais’ players ran through the halls at Andrew, leaping into one another’s arms and screaming with joy. One yelled to himself: ‘‘How did we win? How did we win?’’

Andrew’s turnovers are probably the answer. But the Boilermakers’ 81-80 triple-overtime victory Friday in Tinley Park was full of too many twists and turns and featured too much drama to boil down to one statistic.

Bradley-Bourbonnais is a young team. Coach Joe Lightfoot starts a freshman, two sophomores and two juniors. They are talented and confident. Owen Freeman, a 6-10 junior, has committed to Iowa.

But it was Mark Robinson, a senior off the bench, who stepped up and won the game for the Boilermakers. He scored nine points in the three overtimes and finished with 22. His basket in the post with two seconds left in the third overtime was the game-winner.

‘‘It was like I had tunnel vision when I got the ball,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘I couldn’t hear anything around me. Those are hard to make, but I’m really glad it went in. Anthony [Kemp] drove the baseline and gave me a perfect pass. Anyone can hit shots and score points on our team. It was just our night tonight.’’

The Thunderbolts (16-4, 3-1 Southwest Suburban Red) led by six after Austin Kulig’s dunk with 30 seconds left in the third overtime. Robinson countered with a three-pointer to cut Bradley-Bourbonnais’ deficit to three, then Freeman scored in the post and was fouled. He missed the free throw that could have tied the score, and hope seemed lost for the Boilermakers (17-7, 4-0). Andrew had the ball and a one-point lead.

But a turnover led to Robinson’s final heroics. The Thunderbolts committed 23 turnovers in the game.

‘‘The feeling in the locker room is just amazing,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘That’s one of the best games I’ve ever played in my career. Props to Andrew; they played a great game. I never lost hope. In triple-overtime, anything can happen.’’

Bradley-Bourbonnais sophomore Ethan Kohl sent the game to overtime with a four-point play after being fouled on a three-pointer with 21 seconds left. A three-pointer at the buzzer of the second overtime by Andrew’s Michael Morawski sent the game to the third overtime.

There were terrific clutch plays made by every player on the floor. It was a fantastic game, and the Boilermakers were complimentary of their rivals.

‘‘Andrew is a great team,’’ Freeman said. ‘‘They fought their butt off. For us to work this hard and get this win means so much.’’

Freeman finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Kemp added 15 points and nine rebounds. Junior Isaiah Davis had 14 points and Kohl 10 for Bradley-Bourbonnais.

‘‘The guys never gave up and battled possession after possession, no matter how grim things looked,’’ Lightfoot said. ‘‘We put them through the wringer over the summer and through the season, and now all that hard work is paying off.’’

Kulig led the Thunderbolts with 21 points, and Morawski scored 20. Senior Zain Jubeh added 13 points for Andrew, and 6-5 senior Arnas Sakenis had 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

‘‘I don’t want this to derail our season,’’ coach Dave Wilson said. ‘‘But our weakness all year has been turnovers. We were in position to win . . . and our weakness cost us.’’

Watch the final two overtimes of Bradley-Bourbonnais at Andrew:

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