Tuesday night's Schaumburg-Leyden boys basketball game was the second annual matchup pitting the sons of Marlys Heisler of Warsaw, Ill., on opposing sides.
Older son Bill's Eagles hosted younger son Wade's Saxons, and beyond the intra-family dimension, the game provided a couple of extra twists.
First, the game was being played on a Tuesday, instead of the Saturday night slot it occupied the previous year. Second, due to a school event titled occupying Norm Goodman Court (the Eagles' usual home), the game was played at Leyden's West Campus fieldhouse in Northlake.
Last, but not least, both teams endured a rough 32 minutes of play that featured 18 turnovers apiece as well as a combined 54 percent success rate from the foul line.
Leyden produced a better fourth quarter in pulling out a 44-40 victory in nonconference play.
"Tonight you saw two teams battling out there trying to get a win," said Bill Heisler, who improved to 2-0 against Wade in head-to-head matchups. "We had to get some stops to pull this one out, but what I liked was how well we fought tonight through some of rough patches that we went through."
In those final eight minutes, Leyden (3-14) went 11-for-17 at the foul line and shot 3-for-8 from the field. Schaumburg was 11-for-20 on free throws and just 3-of-18 from the floor.
An Aaron Kline 3 brought the visiting team within 31-30 with exactly five minutes left. Then the Eagles put together a 6-1 mini run that featured 4-for-5 at the foul line from their leading scorers, 6-4 senior forward Jose Alvarado (15 points) and 5-11 sophomore guard Kyler Britten (11 points). That opened up a 37-31 Leyden lead with 3:02 remaining.
Schaumburg (7-10) closed within 43-40 with 16 seconds left in large part to 5 points from 6-2 senior forward Kameron Powell, who finished with a game-high 16.
Leyden didn't close the deal until Britten connected on the second of his two free throws moments later.
Britten was called up to varsity last month to replaced junior guard Jake Fiala, who is out for the year with a broken wrist. For Britten, a sophomore, it's a matter of gaining confidence each time he steps out on the court.
"I was a little nervous in my first game, but thanks to coach and my teammates I'm getting more familiar with things," he said. "I've been working on my game and I feel stronger in being able to go inside with the basketball."
Bill Heisler is enjoying the progress he's seeing Britten make.
"You see the growth in him from game one to the present," Bill Heisler said. "He's going more inside, he's finishing his moves to the basket a little stronger. I feel that has the ability to some really good things in the future."
For Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler, whose squad returns to Mid-Suburban West play Friday night with a home game versus Hoffman Estates, he'd like to see his team get back to basics after suffering a third straight loss.
"We failed to capitalize on our opportunities," he said. "We need to recommit ourselves to working on our defense as well as our offensive execution. If we don't, we'll have more nights like this."
Leyden will travel to Summit next Tuesday for another nonconference contest at Argo.
Barrington 56, Grayslake Central 33: The Broncos got a game-high 16 points from Jason Boock in picking up a nonconference victory over the visiting Rams.
Barrington (12-5) returns to Mid-Suburban West play with a 6 p.m. Friday matchup at Palatine.
Christian Liberty Academy 61, Faith Lutheran 43: Brendan Munoz scored a game-high 22 points (with three 3s) and Jesse Castro had 20 as the Chargers picked up a Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.
The Chargers outscored Faith Lutheran 20-6 in the fourth quarter.