York up to the task, beats Benet in OT
Not many boys basketball teams can withstand a 16-0 run on Benet's home court.
Or recover from a last-second shot by the Redwings to force overtime.
But that's just how York's boys basketball team is built.
Brimming with experience throughout its starting lineup, York overcame it all to top Benet 67-58 in overtime in an immensely entertaining early-season nonconference matchup Tuesday in Lisle.
Three York starters -- Nick Kosich, Erik Cohn and Sam Walsh -- combine for 10 varsity seasons. That experience showed against the Redwings.
"Most of us have been playing together three or four years, and we're a lot more comfortable having that experience," said Dukes senior forward Sam Walsh. "We trust each other and that bond helps us during games like this."
York (5-1) shook free of the Redwings (6-1) by scoring the game's final 8 points in overtime, taking advantage of turnovers on Benet's last four possessions. The Redwings committed 21 turnovers for the game.
It brought a sigh of relief from the Dukes, who watched a 53-45 lead with 40.5 seconds left in regulation disappear when Benet's Kendrick Tchoua converted a three-point play, Trevor Casmere knocked down a 3-pointer and, after a pair of missed free throws by York, Ben Hickey converted a overtime-forcing layup with two seconds left.
Benet, though, couldn't keep the magic going in the extra period, especially after four starters -- Tchoua, Will Engels, Charlie Dollard and Casmere -- fouled out.
"I give York a lot of credit," said Benet coach Gene Heidkamp. "We committed 21 turnovers against their defense, and we were lucky to be in the game at the end. We have some kids in spots for the first time, and we've got to get a lot better. We made some mistakes that hopefully in the second half of the year we don't make."
York stormed to a 15-9 lead on Hassan Iqbal's 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but Benet responded with a 16-0 run to close the half. That put the Redwings ahead 25-15 at the break, although York erased the deficit by midway through the third quarter.
Both teams struggled at the line in key moments. York missed nine attempts in the fourth quarter while Benet missed four.
Tchoua led all scorers with 24 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. York showed tremendous balance with Nate Shockey getting 17 points, Walsh 16, Cohn 13 and Kosich 10 points.
Engels and Colin Crothers, who pulled down 16 rebounds, had 10 points apiece.
"You just never feel like it's over against a good team like that but our kids just kind of hung in there," said York coach Vince Doran. "Our seniors have been through all this before. They proved they could handle it tonight, and I'm proud of them."
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