Hinsdale Central times it right, sinks Stevenson
Hinsdale Central had a game plan it wanted to execute against Stevenson in the opening round of play at the Hinsdale Holiday Classic on Tuesday night.
Rather than get into a high-tempo contest, the Red Devils chose to play with patience, poise and precision. Just the way coach Nick Latorre had drawn it up.
"(Stevenson) is such a great team that is super athletic, and when we saw them we knew how they liked to get up and down the floor," Latorre said. "We knew we couldn't get into that kind of game against them tonight."
The more deliberate style of play worked for Hinsdale as the hosts stunned the fourth-seeded Patriots 47-42. Hinsdale Central moves into the winners bracket and will face DePaul College Prep at 8:30 Wednesday night.
Stevenson (7-2) dropped its second game in a row after starting the year 7-0. The Patriots will continue play in the consolation bracket against Crete Monee at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"We expected this type of game and we have played against it before," said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose. "We just had too many breakdowns defensively."
The plodding style led to a low tally on the scoreboard as Hinsdale (5-4) took a 6-3 lead after one quarter. The pace got even slower as Red Devil seniors Jack Hoiberg and Tomas Misiunas picked up two quick fouls in the second quarter. That brought the pace to nearly a crawl with the two teams ending the first half knotted at 15-15.
"We were pretty happy to get out of that half where we were," Latorre said.
Refreshed, Hinsdale opened the second half by building the lead. The offense started to come in bunches and before the Red Devils knew it, they had built a 40-29 lead with 2:46 to play.
Stevenson finally found its offensive rhythm thanks in large part to Indiana-bound senior Justin Smith. He scored 8 of his game-high 18 points in the final quarter, including a long 3-pointer with :48 seconds left that brought Stevenson within one possession at 41-38. But that would be as close as Stevenson got.
"That team definitely scouted us and was ready for us," said Stevenson senior Willie Herenton, who finished with 12 points. "In the second half we started to get into transition more but we had too many defensive lapses."
Hoiberg led Hinsdale with 11 points while fellow senior Chris Eck added 10 points and 6 assists for the Red Devils.