York's boys basketball team lost its share of close games in the regular season, but the Dukes picked the perfect time to win one.
Rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, the Dukes advanced to the Class 4A York regional semifinals with Monday's 50-47 victory over Naperville Central in Elmhurst.
The 14th-seeded Dukes (14-15) advance to play No. 3 Benet (22-6) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It's their third straight postseason meeting.
"The entire game we battled ... all the way through," said York junior guard Angelo Martucci. "We made some mistakes, but our coaches kept telling us battle, battle, battle."
Different York players took turns stepping up, but it was Martucci stepping up while scoring the Dukes' -- and the game's -- final 6 points. All were crucial with his team trailing 47-44 after a Cam Dougherty bucket for the No. 19 Redhawks (10-17) with 1:25 left.
After splitting a pair of free throws, Martucci converted a three-point play with 31.5 seconds left to give York a 48-47 lead, its first lead since halftime. The Redhawks then turned the ball over, leading to Martucci's breakaway layup and a 50-47 Dukes lead.
The Redhawks had one last chance to force overtime. In the final five seconds, however, a 3-pointer went off the mark to end the game.
An 18-point third quarter output shrank to 7 points in the fourth as the Redhawks committed 5 of their 11 turnovers.
"For three and a half quarters we played about as well as we could play," said Redhawks coach Pete Kramer. "We just didn't finish the game. But I'm extremely proud of them. I thought we were playing our best basketball at the end of the season, and that's all you can ask."
Naperville Central played one of its best stretches of the season in the third quarter while building a double-digit lead. Nick Kramer, who led all scorers with 18 points, knocked down three of his five 3-pointers. Ben Wolf added 14 points for the Redhawks.
"The second half of the season I thought we really improved," Nick Kramer said. "It's tough to go out like this, being up 10 and dropping off, but I do think we played out best basketball down the stretch."
Jordan Gray scored 6 of his 14 points in the first quarter for the Dukes while Eric Cohn tallied 7 of his 10 in the second quarter. Martucci's late effort seemed only natural in a team-wide effort.
"The effort was collective on our behalf," said York coach Vince Doran. "It's great experience to get a win like this in the playoffs. And it's a great opportunity against Benet."
DeKalb 64, Glenbard East 42:
The 11th-seeded Barbs eliminated No. 22 Glenbard East 64-42 in the second Class 4A York regional quarterfinal game Monday in Elmhurst.
The Rams (3-26) stayed close for most of the first half, but DeKalb (19-10) closed strong in the second quarter to take a 27-20 halftime lead and then outscored the Rams 25-11 in the third quarter.
DeKalb faces No. 6 Wheaton North (21-6) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals.
"The first four minutes of that third quarter, they took it to us," said Rams coach Scott Miller. "We couldn't score. We couldn't stop them. Credit to them."
Glenbard East's young lineup struggled in the second half, but junior James Peterkin finished with 16 points while freshman Alijah Nelson knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 14 points. Nine of the Rams' field goals were 3-pointers.
Michael Mitchell and Cole Tucker each scored 15 points for DeKalb. Darvon Sisson added 12 points.
"We dressed five sophomores and a freshman, and we've got more sophomores and freshmen we're high on," Miller said. "There's going to be some competition for spots next year, and they know it. We've just got to get better."
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