ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–The 138th all-time meeting in boys basketball between Rockford Auburn and Rockford East was a classic at East Wednesday night. Junior Rakim Chaney made two free throws with four seconds remaining to left Auburn to a 54-53 win.

Auburn led 32-27 at halftime behind a 16-point first half by senior Adrian Agee. East went on a run early in the fourth quarter to take an eight point lead. Auburn clawed back to even the game. The two teams traded clutch baskets in the final three minutes. The difference, East missed a couple key free throws in the final minute while Chaney knocked down four of them including those last two that tied the score and then gave the Knights the win.

Making clutch free throws is nothing new for Chaney. He did the same thing last year in Auburn’s 57-56 win over Hononegah for a regional championship at Jefferson. He leaned on that experience in this moment.

“When I was at the free throw line coach Ott said the same thing that brought me back to the regional game at Jefferson against Hononegah last year. He just told me I’ve got to knock them down. He had trust in me. Told me to knock those free throws down and that’s what I did. I focused.”

“I wouldn’t say that I felt it was going to be my game,” said Agee who led Auburn with 22 points. “My teammates threw me the ball and I knocked down the shots.”

Agee wasn’t at all surprised that Chaney made his pressure-packed free throws. “We trust Rak (Rakim) with every free throw. He’s the best free throw shooter that we’ve got on our team, so when they put him at the line. We knew it was knocked down.”

“Guys perseverence and sticking to it is, really made a difference tonight,” said Auburn coach Bryan Ott. “I can’t say enough about Rakim. The same thing at the regional last year. Ice water in his veins or something. He just did a great job there.”

Auburn improves it’s conference record to 9-2 tying the knights with Boylan for second place behind 10-2 Guilford. East saw it’s seven-game conference winning streak snapped. The E-Rabs are now 8-4 in conference play.

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