This was Dan Gillespie’s game to win or lose. On Saturday, Gillespie was a winner.
The Mesa High point guard scored on a driving layup with four seconds left in the game to give the Jackrabbits a 61-60 victory over Scottsdale Horizon in the championship game of the Horizon Invitational boys basketball tournament at Horizon High.
With 13 seconds remaining, Gillespie led the Jackrabbits out of a timeout. He got the basketball, worked his way down court and when the Horizon player defending him fell down, Gillespie drove toward the basket and scored.
“He had a great tournament as you can tell by him making the all-tournament team’’ Mesa coach Shane Burcar said. “We trust our guys to make intelligent decisions with the basketball.’’
Joining Gillespie on the all-tournament team was his teammate Aaron Fuller. The 6-foot-6 junior was named the tournament MVP after scoring 22 points in the title game.
With four minutes to go in the game, Mesa (10-3) was in control leading 57-50. But Horizon scored the next seven points to tie the game with two minutes to go. The two teams traded turnovers in the last two minutes before Gillespie gave Mesa a 59-57 lead with 32 seconds left after a steal and a layup. Horizon’s Matt Dietrich then scored a layup and was fouled with 13 seconds left. The free throw gave Horizon a 60-59 lead.
Matt McGaffin led Horizon with 15 points. Dietrich and Alex Miller scored 12 each.