The door wasn't slammed shut.
But it was closed.
And the Mundelein boys basketball team will take that.
The Mustangs have had a tough time closing out victories this season. In fact, they've had a tough time getting victories period. It has been since before Christmas that Mundelein won a game.
But the Mustangs did both on Saturday at the Martin Luther King tournament at Lake Zurich. Although by just fingertips, Mundelein hung on to a late lead to get a 55-53 win over Streamwood.
The Mustangs improve to 3-12 while Streamwood drops to 5-13.
"We finished a game, which is big for us. That was good to see," Mundelein coach Corey Knigge said. "We've had trouble doing that. Historically, we haven't reacted very well at the end of games like that. But we made plays today."
James Willman made a lot of plays. Especially in the fourth quarter.
The Mundelein junior guard saved his best for last, scoring 11 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter. Three of his four field goals in the quarter were 3s. Willman finished with five 3s.
"It was very important for us to get this win because we've been struggling," Willman said. "This should help us in the future.
"We just had to relax and everything would be fine. Sometimes when we're down, we have the mentality that we're not able to get back in the game. But today, we didn't show that and got the win."
Mundelein was up at halftime by 6 points (29-23) but saw Streamwood take control in the third quarter, thanks to 8 points from junior forward Lamont Cole.
"We didn't execute very well in the first half," said Cole, who finished with a team-high 21 points off the bench. "And sometimes we didn't play very good defense.
"I was just trying to give the team a little bit of a spark (off the bench)."
Streamwood was up 41-39 going into the fourth quarter and the lead went back and forth until Mundelein grabbed some momentum on a 3 by Willman. That gave Mundelein a 50-49 advantage, and the lead for good.
The final differential was essentially 5 points, thanks to clutch free throws by Mundelein junior guard Tommy Marcotte (9 total points) in the final seconds. But senior guard Jason Manalansan hit a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer for Streamwood to make it a 2-point win for the Mustangs.
"We missed at least 15 free throws and it was a lack of execution on our part," Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn said. "We called a timeout four times to set up a play and we couldn't even go out there and run it. That's on us. But Mundelein played their game and they deserved to win."
Junior guard Nick Parmley added 10 points for Mundelein while junior forward Jeff Bikus scored 9 points.
Junior forward Phil Cruz finished with 11 points for Streamwood.