Homewood-Flossmoor beats Thornton on Gianni Cobb’s heroic last-second three-pointer

Gianni Cobb, his Homewood-Flossmoor teammates and Thornton’s Isaiah Green wait to see if Cobb’s buzzer beater will go in. It did.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Gianni Cobb plays with confidence. The Columbia recruit is a flashy, talented guard. And he knows how to beat Thornton. 

The senior drained a three-pointer at the buzzer in front of a capacity crowd on Sunday at Thornwood’s Chelby Frazier Memorial Shootout in South Holland.

The clutch shot gave the Vikings a 65-63 win against Thornton. It’s the second time this season that Cobb has made the winning shot against the Wildcats in a big game. He scored the winning basket in the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament title game in late December with two seconds left. 

“I knew I could beat them again,” Cobb said. “It felt good on my end as soon as it left my hands. The play was drawn up for [Carson Brownfield] but I got open.”

Cobb also had a key steal and layup with two minutes to play. That put Homewood-Flossmoor ahead 61-54. Thornton (20-3) charged back and led 63-61 after Layshawn Scott made one of two free throws with 21 seconds left. 

Cobb missed a potential game-winner with eight seconds left and JD Tyler missed a two-pointer with two seconds to play. Then came Cobb’s heroics.

“Are you talking about the lucky shot?” Thornton senior Morez Johnson said. “That’s the second time he’s done it to us. I give props to him. I wish I could use FanDuel, I’d ask him for a parlay or something.”

Cobb led H-F (22-2) with 25 points and JD Tyler added 17. Tyler, a junior guard, scored 10 consecutive points early in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings their first significant lead. 

“I saw the look in Gianni’s eyes,” Tyler said. “He was saying trust me, trust me. I knew he was gonna make the big shot if I couldn’t. We are the best backcourt in the nation now that we are clicking together. It was crazy. Tension, tension, tension. But I had faith in Gianni.”

Johnson, a 6-9 Illinois recruit, missed a significant portion of the game due to foul trouble. He finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. 

Amazing. Gianni Cobb buzzer beater.

Homewood-Flossmoor beats Thornton 65-63. The Vikings are the new No. 1. pic.twitter.com/vF0sP8x6LJ

— Michael O’Brien (@michaelsobrien) January 29, 2024

“We’d rather lose now than later in the season when it really counts,” Johnson said. “It’s all good. We are learning lessons.”

Carson Brownfield added 12 points and six rebounds for Homewood-Flossmoor, which took over the top spot in the Super 25 after the victory. 

“We are hitting the point where we are playing very unselfish basketball,” Vikings coach Jamere Dismukes said. “It’s hard to beat us when we play that way. Our strength is in our numbers.”

Meyoh Swansey led Thornton with 19 points and Isaiah Green scored 11. 

“This was a beautiful not only for the South Suburbs but for the state of Illinois,” Dismukes said. “This is a playoff atmosphere. A supersectional atmosphere.

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