Friday, February 23, 2007

Pirates win district title; Rudy Harper hits shot with 4 seconds remaining – sends the Pirates to Hannibal

By: Mike McMurran
Sports Editor

The evening ended the same way it began, with the St. Charles High fans chanting: “Can’t beat Wacker!” It’s what happened in between that will have high school basketball fans talking for years.

St. Charles High and St. Charles West tipped off at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening – from 7 till 8:30 the capacity crowd experienced something very special. A cross-town, intra-district rivalry that had the 2007 GAC North co-champions playing each other for the fourth time this season.

Down 19-10 at the end of the first quarter, the Pirates did everything they could to scratch and claw their way back into the contest. By half time they had a single point lead.

The teams traded the lead back and forth the entire second half. With 1:43 remaining in the contest the score was tied 43-43. After a couple of turnovers by both squads it was time for the Rudy Harper show.

Senior guard Rudy Harper drove the lane, banked his shot off the backboard, and gave the Pirates a 2-point lead. West called a time out and the officials adjusted the clock putting 3 seconds on it. For the Pirates faithful it was the longest 3 seconds of the season.

Harper’s shot sends the Pirates to Hannibal for Sectional play Wednesday evening for a 6 p.m. contest against an opponent to be determined. It looks like Coach Wacker’s attempt to retire will have to wait a little longer.