Danny Weymier was not about to let his senior season of Whitnall boys basketball end this early.
Weymier hit the go-ahead layup with 13 seconds left, had a steal on the ensuing Bay View possession and hit the front-end of a 1-and-1 as No. 5-seeded Whitnall earned a 75-73 win over No. 4-seeded Milwaukee Bay View in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal Friday night.
"At the four-minute mark (Whitnall) coach (Steve Kujawa) brought us in and said, 'Do you want your season to be over now or are you going to do something about it?'" said Weymier, who finished with a game-high 32 points, his third-straight game breaking the 30-point threshold. "I didn't see much (on the last drive). The last few times in I was actually expecting a call."
The Falcons (15-7) earn another shot at top-seeded New Berlin Eisenhower on Saturday.
Kujawa drew up the possession for Weymier, who helped bring the Falcons back from double-digit deficits in the second and fourth quarters.
"With 13 or 14 seconds left, let's try to get a shot, because if we miss, we at least get an opportunity to get a rebound or foul and extend the game," said Kujawa of the possession that gave the Falcons the lead for good. "(Danny) took it in there with his explosiveness and athleticism and made the shot."
Whitnall's 3-point shooting played a hand in giving Weymier an opportunity to drive to the basket. The Falcons hit seven threes on the night.
"I had actually called for a 1-3-1 zone on the play to try to stop the drive, but the seniors on the floor called back to man-to-man," Bay View coach Tyler Podell said. "They were late to rotate because they were nervous to be in help position because they hit four threes on us in the last quarter."
After the basket, Weymier got a steal and was fouled near halfcourt. That sent him to the line with 5.3 seconds left, where he hit the first of two free throws to make it a 2-point game.
With 3.0 seconds left, the Redcats (14-9) had one final chance to tie or take the lead and put the ball in the hands of North Dakota State recruit Carlin Dupree, who had a team-high 27 points.
Dupree took fellow senior Harlem Sewell's inbounds pass and launched a three for the win that rimmed out. The quick shot allowed for a tip attempt, but that too was off the mark.
"He caught it and he was trying to win it," Podell said. "He has and he can. He has seven end-of-a-quarter baskets in his career. He could have taken his time a little more, but we went with the shot we felt comfortable with."
The look for Dupree was no surprise for the Falcons, who got a hand in Dupree's face as he faded away.
"We knew was going to get a look we just had to play good defense," Weymier said. "Even with a hand in his face (Dupree) got a decent look at it. He is a heck of an athlete."
The perseverance of Whitnall in the final minute of the game summarized what it had fought through most of the night. Bay View jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first half, but Weymier rallied the Falcons back, and Nathan Schaefer's basket gave the Falcons a 30-29 lead at halftime.
With 3:40 left in the game, the Redcats led 69-59, before Weymier led the charge back.
"It's been battles like that all season long with those ups and downs," said Kujawa. "The steadiness of the senior class we have led by Sam Mentkowski, Danny Weymier and Brent Sluka means we are solid with leadership."