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01/28/2017 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Chang's Three Dashes Rocket Comeback

By Jeff Motz

Ed Chang proved one thing on Saturday night, he can be clutch from three point range, whether he's wide open or surrounded by two opposing players.

The 6-8 junior forward and Division I prospect hit a three-pointer, surrounded by two defenders, with less than 2 seconds left to lift Class A No. 1 Papillion-LaVista to a 59-58 boys basketball victory over Lincoln Northeast at the Ed Johnson Gym.

For Chang, it was his second buzzer beater of the night.  He hit a 35-foot shot uncontested as time ran out in the first quarter to give the Monarchs a 19-16 lead.

Papio (15-3) saw a 31-22 halftime lead and at times a 11-point advantage erased in the third quarter, as Northeast responded with a strong second half effort.

Down as much as 44-34, the Rockets came roaring back thanks in part to 6-9 senior Trace Tupper, who scored 10 points in the period, including a two-hand slam on an offensive rebound following a missed basket from Nate White at the end of the period.  Northeast trailed at that point 46-42.

Papillion-LaVista went into a stall offense with about 5 minutes left and managing to keep their distance, as much as 56-48, before Northeast used an 8-0 run capped by Malcolm Whitlow's three-pointer with 56 seconds left, forcing a tie at 58.

Still, the Monarchs went into a stall game.  Then Northeast got a break off a steal and breakaway layup from Tivon Phillips with 10 seconds left that put the Rockets ahead at 58-56.

Following a timeout, Papillion-LaVista set up a final play to go to Chang.  He caught the ball with Whitlow and Northeast forward Isaiah Collier surrounding him, pivoted to square up to the basket and hit the three-pointer for the win.

Papio got a team-high 22-points from Ayo Akinwole, while Chang added 17 points.  Whitlow led Northeast with a game-high 23 points and Tupper finished with 14 points, all of which came in the second half.
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