Rockford sophomore Andrew Landis had trouble sleeping Tuesday night.
Who could blame him? It’s not every night your game-winning shot makes ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.
Landis buried a halfcourt shot as time expired in overtime, giving Rockford a 54-51 victory over Grand Rapids Union at home. ESPN ranked Landis’ buzzer beater No. 2 overall.
“I was trying to go to sleep last night, but the adrenalin was pumping,” Landis said. “So I checked my phone in the middle of the night, and people on Instagram and Snap Chat were saying ‘You’re on SportsCenter.’ I saw it on video and then I watched it on ESPN when I got up in the morning.
“Everyone wants to be on SportsCenter’s Top 10. That’s when it hit me.”
Check out the winning basket in the video provided by Amanda Currie:
Landis made national television just three games into his varsity career. He played on Rockford’s junior varsity team last year as a freshman. The Rams were thinking overtime moments before Landis’ game-winner because Union had possession when action resumed with 7.6 seconds left after a timeout.
But Rockford’s defense came up with a heads-up play and Landis capitalized.
“What makes this one even more incredible is that we were on defense,” Rams coach Kyle Clough said. “We got a tip and a steal. In our timeout, in our conversation as a team we were just talking about getting a stop and getting it to double overtime. Colin Williams, our senior guard, made a great play. He got a tip on the ball. Andrew just used his instincts, grabbed it and threw it up.”
Rockford students rushed the court as soon as the ball fell through the net and the buzzer sounded. It was at that point that Landis received some valuable advice from senior Jack Lamancusa – run.
“I just chucked it up there, prayed and it went in,” Landis said. “It was crazy. I just got it off in time. It had to be about .01 seconds left, it was really close, and then I heard the buzzer. It’s like everyone’s childhood dream to make the winning shot in front of the hometown crowd and have everyone stormed the court.
“The funny part is that our senior guard Jack Lamancusa was running with me, telling me just to run so I didn’t get into the mosh pit. That’s why we went into the hallway to the cafeteria. You can see me make the shot, and then I took a couple of steps towards the student section, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s not a good idea,’ and I ran the other way. We got to the cafeteria where it calmed down and I got to talk to a lot of people, which was great.”
The win improved Rockford’s record to 3-0. While Rockford celebrated, Union coach Brandoen Guyton said the finish could serve as a valuable learning experience for his squad.
SportsCenter incorrectly reported that Rockford beat South Christian in its Plays of the Day segment.
“It’s a heartbreaker if it ends our season,” Guyton said. “It’s a hard lesson early on in the season.
“It was a great game and Rockford played great. It was one of the most fun games I have been a part of. Unfortunately, one team had to lose. I thought we were going to get them on the buzzer, but they happened to get an opportunity to get us on the buzzer. It wasn’t the typical buzzer beater. I didn’t even see the shot. That’s how quick it was.”