It was a hassle for the Coal City boys basketball team to get to Lisle Senior High School on Friday night.
The team was late because of the snow and the resulting traffic delays, forcing the sophomore game to start 30 mintes late. But the varsity Coalers put their travel difficulty quickly aside and prevailed 54-39 on Lisle's Senior Night.
It was a tough loss for the Lions (11-17, 5-5 Interstate Eight Conference). It was the Lions' final regular-season home appearance and the final home game for their six seniors unless the team advances to the Class 2A Lisle sectional.
"It's going to leave a bad taste with them (the Lions). "Senior Night means a lot," said Lisle coach Mark LaScala. "We just have to move on to Dwight next week where we have a chance to get a winning conference record and then move on to the regional."
Lisle opens postseason play Feb. 21 at the Westmont regional against Timothy Christian.
When Coal City coach Brad Boresi called a timeout with five minutes left, the Lions led 7-0.
Coal City's offense warmed up and the team led 15-9 at the end of the first eight minutes.
With 4:57 left until halftime Matt Halloran hit net to put the Coalers (7-16, 2-7) up by double digits for the first time, 21-11. Lisle made sure that advantage didn't last long as Kazim Khan scored five of his game-high 27 points with a 3-point basket and a layup off of Cam Bell's third steal of the first half to put the Lions within striking distance at intermission 21-16.
A fastbreak layup by Jake Aichele with 3:39 left in the third quarter put Coal City back up by double digits, 32-21, and the Lions didn't make a major dent in the Coalers' advantage the rest of the night.
Lisle's 46-36 win Jan. 21 in the IEC tournament was on the Coalers' minds.
"Any chance you have to play a team you lost to, you have to take advantage of that opportunity," Boresi said. "Except for the first three minutes, we put together one of our best games of the year. Overall, it was a nice team effort offensively and defensively."
Lisle High School
Conference: Interstate Eight Small
- Win over Westmont special to Lisle
- Anybody can win at Westmont
- Neuqua Valley holding out for top spot
- IC Catholic Prep wins easily
- Levesque a welcome addition at Glenbard West