Naperville Central escapes Sandburg in OT
Updated: May 20, 2011 10:31PM
Even with the seconds counting down, Balys Gintautas was a cool enough customer to have the presence of mind to take a peek at the clock.
Gintautas scored with 0.7 second left in overtime to lift Sandburg into the semifinals the Eagles outlasted Naperville Central 15-14 in overtime Friday in an IHSA state quarterfinal at Stevenson to earn the third state trophy in as four years for the Eagles.
“I was trying to not leave them any time to shoot,” said Gintautas, after converting out of a timeout with 13 seconds to play. “I was pump-faking trying to get them up and win without giving them a chance to come back.”
Sandburg (29-5) will play seven-time defending champion Fenwick (34-0), which has a 61-game win streak, in a state semi at 12:45 p.m. Saturday.
“That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing a water polo game – that was incredible,” Eagles junior Matt Velderman said. “I tried my best not to but I know I [doubted we were going to win] at one point. Then we came back and we were trading goals for the longest time and I had no idea how it was going to turn out.”
Cody Corridino gave Sandburg a 14-13 lead with 57 seconds to play in overtime. But Kyle Rickert knotted the game at 14 with 13 seconds to play on a second attempted after being stoned by Eagles goalie Tony Rogina (15 saves) seconds earlier.
“[Rickert] is a competitor and that’s what we love about him and are going to miss about him now that he’s graduating,” Naperville Central coach Bill Salentine said. “We got a long way through the season because of him and I want him to have the ball at the end of the game.”
Rickert broke a 10-10 tie with his fifth goal with 2:01 left in the fourth period before Kristian Altuve followed with his fifth score 22 seconds later to give Naperville Central a 12-10 lead.
But Sandburg wouldn’t go away. Matt Veldman pulled the Eagles back within one on a 5-meter shot with 1:20 left in the fourth before Balys Gintautas forced overtime with his goal with 53 seconds remaining in regulation.
Gintautas finished with five goals, while Matt Veldman added four, Erik Niemeier had three goals and three assists and Anthony Bonnar contributed two goals for Sandburg, which turned around an 8-4 defeat to the Redhawks on May 5.
“We stress balanced scoring and we’ve been getting that the last couple weeks,” Sandburg coach Jim Caliendo said. “We didn’t play too well against them two weeks ago when we only scored four but today we got goals from a lot of different people.”
Altuve and Rickert each finished with six goals and goalie Pat Stablein had seven saves for Naperville Central (26-5), which missed out on its fourth state trophy in as many years.
“Unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of this one today, but the better team won today,” Salentine said. “It’s hard to process it all right now, I’m still in a little bit of shock.”