Mikey Duleba scored 10 of his 13 points in overtime to lead North to a 64-60 non-conference win over visiting St. Martin de Porres on Tuesday.
The Rangers entered the fourth quarter trailing, 42-39, before tying the game at 53-53 at the end of regulation. Duleba then scored 10 of North’s 11 points in the extra period to seal the win.
“In OT, you just have to treat it as it is a new start with the score being 0-0,” Duleba said. “That’s exactly how I approached it and my teammates did an excellent job at finding me when I was open and I knocked down my shots. Going into OT, I had an aggressive mindset with us being in the double bonus. As we started attacking, the 3-point shot was opening up and I took advantage of it.”
Duleba, who finished with 13 points, hit a pair of 3s and connected on all four of his free throw chances in the overtime period.
He also was 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
“He had that look in his eye and that swagger when he was out there on the court,” North coach Rob Koelling said. “He just wanted the ball and he came up clutch down the stretch.”
North led 30-27 at halftime but the Lions outscored the Rangers in the third quarter, 15-9.
“We’ve been stressing practice over the last couple of days that there are three areas that take no skill,” Koelling said. “Playing physical, playing hard and having five guys locked in with 100-percent effort each possession and when you take care of those three things more times than not it’s going to show up on the scoreboard at the end of the game and the ball is going to bounce your way. The last five seconds of regulation was probably the best defense I’ve seen the guys play all season and that carried over to overtime.”
St. Martin de Porres possessed the ball with just five ticks remaining on the click but couldn’t get a decent look at the hoop.
“We switched screens and denied the entry pass,” Koelling said. “They had to call timeout and when they did get it in guys were just glued to their man. They had to throw up a shot that didn’t come close to going in.”
Evan Liddington led the Rangers with 17 points and four 3-pointers. Aaron Broja and Brian Skolny also scored in double figures with 11 and 10, respectively.
“It was evenly distributed there in the scoring,” Koelling said. “It was really a game where we got a couple of guys dinged up and whatnot and the seniors really stepped up. They played how we’ve been looking for them to play from start to finish. You have to credit St. Martin; they had a couple of guys knocking down big shots that we didn’t see on film. They stepped up but our guys were resilient and didn’t back down and fought to the finish. They were able to see the results because of that.”
Cam Proctor scored seven points but also pulled down 12 rebounds in the win.
“This win was extremely exciting,” Duleba said. “The whole team played a well-rounded game and everyone contributed. Winning this game in OT will bring us a lot of momentum going into South this Friday.”