DePaul College Prep denies Stevenson
For the second straight day, Stevenson's boys basketball team was trying to put together a second-half rally and spring another holiday tournament upset.
But this time, the Patriots came up short.
Highly regarded DePaul College Prep pulled away to a 49-36 victory over Stevenson in the quarterfinals of the Hinsdale Central holiday tournament on Thursday afternoon.
The Patriots (7-5, 1-1) next play Maine South (8-3, 1-1) at 3:45 p.m. Friday, while DePaul College Prep takes on St. Rita (7-7, 2-0) at 7 p.m. in the championship semifinals. St. Rita got past Maine South 48-43 in the other quarterfinal.
"We fought back and we clawed back," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "We did chip away in a sense, scoring more and holding (De Paul College Prep) down in the third quarter. We actually had one quarter out of four -- but that's not going to do it against a team like DePaul College Prep that's very talented. We made some great effort plays, but the ball bounced wrong a couple times, too far or too long."
The Rams (11-1, 2-0) jumped out to a 12-7 lead after the first quarter and had a 23-11 advantage at the break. Pavie Pantovic led the way with a game-high 14 points for DePaul, all in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Patriots (7-5) had a hard time making shots throughout the first half.
But in the third quarter, Jackson Qualley scored 11 of his team-high 15 points and brought the Patriots (7-5) to within 28-26 on a 3-point play with 58 seconds left in the period. But Stevenson trailed 32-26 heading into the final quarter.
"It was kind of a struggle, what we were doing in the first half," Qualley said. "It was kind of getting back to what we thought we could do against their switching defense."
The Patriots' Tyler Turk made 2 free throws to cut the Rams' lead to 32-28 with 7:32 remaining. But DePaul College Prep's Raheem Anthony (8 points) took over with a pair of layups, increasing the lead to 36-28 with 4:12 left.
The Rams kept the margin in double-digits the rest of the way.
Perry Cowan added 12 points and Lance Mosely chipped in with 11.
"Any time you play a coach (Pat) Ambrose team, you're going to be in a fight," DePaul College Prep coach Tom Kleinschmidt said. "He's one of the best doing it. He's a great coach and I talked to our kids, told them to be ready.
"The third quarter we let up a little bit, and it's a natural thing. We have to get out of that, or we can get bumped. You just have to play (Stevenson) for a full 32 minutes. Our goal was for them to push up on us, so we could open up the floor. Playing them in halfcourt was very difficult."