Eberlein Drive is on the cusp of quite the payday.
The Fraser-based team held off Team Fredette, 80-76, in Thursday's semifinal of The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all, $2 million event.
All that stands between Eberlein Drive — a team that was started in 2014 by residents Jacob Hirschmann and brothers Joey and Craigen Oster and is named after the Fraser street — and that huge sum of cash in Friday's 9 p.m. final is three-time defending champion Overseas Elite.
"Obviously, they’re very good, and I like our chances, too,” Eberlein Drive coach David Nurse said. "We have great pieces, and we all play together. The best thing about us is that we don’t care who scores. I couldn’t even tell you who has the most points for us right now...We’re just in it together as one out there."
Eberlein Drive needed an exhilarating finish to reach the last game of the 72-team tournament. After taking a 77-74 lead with the target score set at 80, Team Fredette fouled James Michael McAdoo to prevent a potential winning shot.
McAdoo split the two free throws for a four-point advantage before former BYU star Jimmer Fredette made two free throws to pull within 78-76.
Fredette had a chance to tie it after a turnover led to a fast break, but he couldn't convert on a driving layup.
Eberlein Drive corralled the rebound and had numbers going the other way. Jeremy Evans led the break before he lost the ball going up for a layup and dished it to McAdoo for the winning dunk.
"That last couple possessions was a little wild," said Eberlein Drive's Donald Sloan, who scored a team-high 20 points. "We're all reaching for that one goal, it's 80 points. We were in the right places at the right time."
The Basketball Tournament
Final: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Morgan State University, Baltimore