Bartlett senior Lance Whitaker won the battle of Division-I recruits but York senior David Cohn won the war in the Class 4A York regional boys basketball title game Friday night.
Whitaker, an Illinois-Chicago recruit, had a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds for the No. 7 Hawks but Cohn, a Colorado State recruit, tallied 21 points including 7 points in overtime to guide the No. 2 Dukes to a 59-57 win.
"What more can you ask for," said Dukes coach Vince Doran. "People came out to see Whitaker and Cohn match up, but they got a great game across the board from everyone on the court on both sides."
The Hawks (20-10) had not trailed in the first half and led 25-20 at the break, but that's when Cohn stepped up. Cohn had tallied just 4 points in the first half, but York junior Frank Toohey kept the Dukes in the game with 12 of his team-high 22 points.
Cohn tallied 7 points in the third quarter as York pulled ahead 33-31 heading into the fourth, and his third 3-pointer of the night gave the Dukes a 54-51 lead with 1:12 left in OT, which York did not relinquish.
"I let the game come to me," Cohn said of his second half performance. "Instead of forcing shots, I was more patient and waited for my shot. But I thought Frankie played a great game, and he won it for us."
Whitaker led the Hawks the entire night with 10 points in the first half, 13 combined in the third and fourth quarters and 8 in OT but several other Bartlett players stepped up.
The Hawks led 15-7 after the first quarter which included 5 points from senior Marcus Aluquin (10 points), and Bartlett led by double-digits at 17-7 after a bucket from senior Jon Moss. Senior Billy Kramer tallied all 6 of his points in the first half.
"We knew it was going to be a battle," Whitaker said. "We had to do a good job on the boards, and we did a really good job in the first half. Everyone played hard tonight, and everyone contributed."
Cohn assisted a 3 by junior Isaac McKinley at the third quarter buzzer for York's first lead at 33-31. That lead expanded to 37-31 a minute into the fourth, but the Hawks responded.
Senior Mitch Reid tallied all 6 of his points in the fourth quarter including a key trey, and Aluquin had a steal and layup with 1:18 left in the period for the 47-47 tie which was the final score of regulation. Aluquin and Whitaker buckets gave the Hawks leads of 49-47 and 51-49 in the OT, Bartlett's last leads of the night.
"It was a great basketball game, and it just would have been nice to come out on the other side," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "Everyone left everything they had on the floor, and I couldn't be prouder of my guys."
Toohey and junior Charlie Rose both grabbed 7 rebounds each for York, and senior Justin Kurash had 6 points.
York advances to the Schaumburg Sectional where it will play No. 3 Oak Park-River Forest next Wednesday.