Hersey rallies to upend Stevenson in OT
Hersey's boys basketball team was like a thermometer Tuesday. At times the Huskies were below zero and at other times they were at the boiling point.
Hersey got hot just when it needed to and rallied from a 12-point deficit for a 64-58 overtime win over Stevenson at the Ed Molitor Classic in Palatine.
"We emphasize that we are not riding the roller coaster," said Hersey coach Austin Scott, whose team converted only 1-of-12 shots to open the second half.
"I told them to stay the course. It was not part of our plan to be down and in tough situations. They responded."
In a big way.
Trailing 44-32 late in the third quarter, Hersey (2-0) would go on to finish the game in regulation and in overtime hitting 12 of its last 14 shots from the field.
"We all came together," said the Huskies' Jacob Kluczewski, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period and overtime.
"We listened to coach. He told us what to do and we executed it together."
Matt Hanushewsky began the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to get the Huskies excited and then tied the game at 51 with a 3-pointer with 55 seconds to play.
"After the third quarter coach said to stay the course," said Hanushewsky, who had four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points.
"We came together and came on strong at the end."
Unfortunately for Stevenson, the Patriots did not.
The Patriots, playing in their first game of the season, missed 10 consecutive shots down the stretch. They didn't hit a field goal until Luke Chieng converted a long 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime.
"We have to give a lot of credit to Hersey," said Stevenson assistant coach Ceola Clark, who stepped in for Patriot head coach Pat Ambrose, who left right after the game to attend a family function.
"It was our first game of the year and we had just three returners back from last year. The pace is different. At the varsity level, guys are bigger, faster an stronger and the pace is going to be a lot faster. They will get the hang of it and figure it out."
The teams played at breakneck pace to begin the game with Hersey leading 20-17 after the first quarter.
Stevenson bounced back thanks to Matthew Ambrose, who finished with 22 points. The Patriots led 30-29 at the break and ran out to a 12-point advantage late in the third before Hersey caught fire.
"We have a long way to go as a team," Scott said. "This is a great start for us and we are really proud of the effort."
Davis Belford had 10 points for Hersey while Ryan Verhulst had 9 points on 3 three-pointers and Rocco Ronzio and Jace Coffaro each had 7 points each.
Stevenson got 11 points from Matt Kaznikov, 9 points from John Ittounas and 8 points from Trey Baker.