LOWELL | The weight coming off of Crown Point's shoulders was almost visible.
In a game that saw seven lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter, Josh Berquist's lay up at the buzzer was the difference between the Bulldogs and Times No. 8 Lowell. Crown Point's bench nearly jumped out of The Pit as the ball fell through the nylon to give the Bulldogs a 46-44 win Saturday night.
C.P. (10-8) came into the game on a four-game losing streak and needed a confidence boost, having lost a 34-point game to Lake Central the night before.
The Red Devils (14-4), on the other hand, came into the contest on a five-game winning streak.
Lowell coach Nate Richie drew up a play for his leading scorer Zach Van Hook during a timeout with 14.6 seconds left. It worked and the senior guard scored with a little over five seconds on the clock and the Devil faithful erupted.
Crown Point didn't call a timeout and pushed the ball up the court. Berquist let go of the ball with less than a second remaining and the crowd went silent.
Blake Bonin stole an in-bounds pass and hit a free throw with 30 ticks to go to put the 'Dogs up 44-42. That play set up the final sequence.
Lowell opened the game with an 8-0 run and led 11-6 after the first quarter. Crown Point turned the ball over each of its first five trips down the floor.
Bret Barclay scored all six first-quarter points and 14 of the Bulldogs' 20 in the first half. The senior forward also had six rebounds when C.P. trailed 24-20 at the break.
Crown Point briefly led after a Barclay free throw put them up 20-19 with a little over three minutes left before halftime.
Van Hook led all scorers with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Barclay had 16 and six for the Bulldogs before fouling out with 3:08 left.