With under a second left on the clock, DeLaSalle senior captain Christian Dickson went to the line for a pair of free throws in a tie game.
"You've got to leave everything on the court," Dickson said. "And little things make the big things happen. That's what I learned growing up."
He made both shots to give the top-ranked and six-time defending state champion Islanders (24-4) the 80-78 victory over No. 4-ranked Orono in the Class 3A, Section 6 final Thursday at Chanhassen High School.
In a tight game filled with runs, the Spartans took a 12-point lead — the biggest of the game — at 69-57 with 4:47 to play. That's when the Islanders' experience kicked in. Senior and future Gophers player Gabe Kalscheur made three three-pointers to get them within two, within one and then tie the game with 13.9 seconds left.
The double-digit deficit wasn't a problem for the experienced Islanders, who battled the Spartans in last year's section final as well.
"We just preached in the huddle, 'stay the course, continue to guard … and we'll be able to capitalize,' " Islanders first-year coach Travis Bledsoe said.
Added Kalscheur, who scored a season-high 38 points, "When it came down to clutch moments, we know how to execute."
The Spartans had one more chance after the free throws with 0.5 seconds left but couldn't get a shot off in time.
The loss for Orono (23-6) stops its 17-game winning streak. Senior Max Bjorklund scored a season-high 28 points. The Spartans made 14 3-pointers in the game. Senior Jarvis Thomas Omersa finished with 16 points. He's also headed to the Gophers. Coach Richard Pitino was in attendance Thursday.
"We made some big plays, and Gabe made three huge threes down the stretch with two or three guys on him," Orono coach Barry Wohler said. "Fans got their entertainment's worth, that's for sure."