Johnny Dawson's 15-foot jumper from left of the lane game Monticello a 51-49 lead with 1.7 seconds left and the Sages upset Quincy Notre Dame, the top team in Class 2A, in the Supersectional from the University of Illinois at Springfield to advance to this weekend's state finals in Peoria.
The Sages forced two late turnovers to tie the game at 49 after Isiah Florey made two free throws, then Dawson was the hero again in the postseason with his mid-range jumper after a back-court violation for the Raiders game Monticello the ball back with 1:09.
Florey scored 16 of his game high 21 points in the first half, propelling the Sages to an early lead and Luke Stokowski made three of five free attempts in the final period to help Monticello stay close with Quincy Notre Dame.
Quincy Notre Dame used a 13-2 run in the first half to turn a five points deficit into a six point advantage after Stokowski and Dawson went to the bench with two personal fouls apiece about a minute apart.
The Sages started the second half on an 8-2 run to retake the lead and it was back and for the rest of the way.
Florey says his hot start started in the warmup when he was knocking down shots and decided he was going to take over.
Quincy Notre Dame featured a balanced lineup with four players averaging double-figures. Stokowski says they stepped up and felt a 2-3 zone helped slow down their potent offensive attack.
Dawson was impressed his team's defense was able to hold a high powered offensive team to just 49 points. He says they knew they were a good team and need a solid effort to win the game.
Head Coach of the Sages Kevin Roy called this a dream come true. He says his team has shown all year they're a tough group and tonight fought through some adversity and says his guys off the bench did a great job in some tough situations.
Stokowski finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Dawson finished with 10 points and Calvin Fisher was held to just nine points but pulled down five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Quincy Notre Dame was led by Justin Bottorf and Jacob Mayfield's 12 points. Carter Cramsey added 11 points and Johnny Ray chipped in with ten points.
Despite shooting almost 60-percent from the floor, the Raiders committed 14 turnovers.
Quincy Notre Dame outrebounded Monticello 20-19.
The Sages shot 43-percent from the floor and finished 13-for-18 from the free throw line.
The Sages will head to Carver Arena at the Peoria Civic Center for a matchup with Chicago Orr, who defeated Chicago Collins 72-34 Tuesday.
Game time from Peoria is 7:15 pm Friday night. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC on online at dewittdailynews.com.
The Sages will either play at 5:30 pm Saturday for third place or for the state title at 7:15 pm.
Class 1A Supersectional scores:
Effingham St. Anthony 52
Mendon Unity 40
Class 3A Sectional semifinal scores:
Springfield Lanphier 82
Champaign Central 59
At Bradley University
Class 3A Sectional semifinal matchups tonight:
Mt. Zion 7:00pm
At Bradley University