St. Charles North sophomore Quinten Payne shot the North Stars back into their game against St. Joseph Saturday at Batavia's Night of Hoops.
It was a pass that Payne regretted in what became a 59-52 North Star loss.
Payne's 3-pointer with just over a minute left in the third quarter tied the score at 35, the game's first tie and bringing the North Stars (11-9) all the way back from a 12-point first-half deficit. Payne scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in the quarter.
But after the Chargers (6-13) regained the lead, Payne's turnover led to a 3-point play and a 40-35 deficit going to the fourth quarter. St. Joseph followed with the first 6 points of the fourth quarter to go up 46-35.
"That was a dumb play by me to throw that oop to Kyle (Nelson)," Payne said of his turnover. "I know he can get up but that is not something you throw at the end of the quarter. I take all responsibility for having that 5-point swing."
Trailing 50-39 with just 2:29 left, the North Stars made a frantic push. They capitalized on 3 turnovers and a missed 1-and-1 with a bucket from Nelson, Payne's score and a 3-point play by Josh Mikes to make it a 50-46 game with 1:29 to go.
The North Stars caught another break when the Chargers again missed a 1-and-1 only to fail to clear the rebound. They had to foul again and this time St. Joseph made both, the start of 7-of-8 shooting at the line in the final minute to seal the win.
St. Joseph finished 20 of 24 at the free-throw line; the North Stars were just 1 of 5. Joe Edwards led the Chargers with 20 points and A.J. Patty scored 16.
While just 6-13 this year, St. Joseph has lost 9 games to teams in Chicagoland's Top 25. Coach Gene Pingatore has turned to younger players and said his team is playing better.
"Seems like we are finding a combination now," said Pingatore, whose Chargers return to Night of Hoops next year to face Simeon.
"They (SCN) are a good team. We didn't even know who we would face. Went to scout them Friday and the game (with Elgin) was postponed."
Payne (22 points), Nelson (12), Mikes (11) and Chris Conrad (7) were the only North Stars to score.
"He (Quinten) was playing within the system and taking what they gave him," Poulin said. "He had a nice ballgame. I thought he led us well."
The North Stars never led in the game. They trailed 16-8 after one quarter and fell in their biggest hole at 24-12 before an 11-2 run to close the first half made it a 26-23 game at halftime.
"We played hard," Poulin said. "I thought for the majority of the game we played smart. We had a little bit of bad luck tonight."
Some of our players with the best hands in the area are bobbling balls out of bounds and missing layups when they don't do that typically. We got better today. We learned. There were a couple good teaching moments."