ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — It was only a summer league game but it looked and felt like so much more. Rockford Lutheran and Rockford East went at it Tuesday night in the championship game exchanging big baskets.
Jamere Jefferson, the transfer from Rockford Jefferson, poured in four three-pointers in the first half and drained another big one down the stretch. But the biggest basketball of all was scored by Lutheran senior-to-be Garrett Bertrand. With just over two seconds to play Lutheran inbounded the ball on the far sideline to Bertrand. He caught it, took a dribble and then launched a shot form behind the arc on the wing that went through the hoop at the buzzer. Lutheran had a 61-58 win and the summer league championship.
“I wanted the ball,” said Bertran. I was feeling good. I got some buckets before that, and I told myself I was not losing that basketball game. I knew as soon as I let it go it was going in.”
“We’d never won the tournament. I really wanted it tonight. They (East) had a heck of a game. They were making shots down the stretch. I mean it was a great game at the end.”
“You’d have felt like that was a regional final for whatever reason,” said Lutheran coach Tom Guse. “Everybody was really getting after it. Both teams played extremely well, and then Garrett with the big shot at the end. I mean, I’m just so happy for him. He works so hard. People don’t realize Garrett from the time he got to Lutheran as a freshman and to this point he’s just worked as hard as anybody I’ve been around.”
Lutheran went 11-0 in the summer league which began at the start of June with games each Monday and Tuesday night.
Lutheran defeated Guilford in one semifinal game to reach the championship game. East defeated Harlem in the other semifinal.