Hersey overcomes Singsank, Elk Grove

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/21/2018 10:43 PM
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Hersey came alive in the fourth quarter Friday against visiting Elk Grove.

The Huskies watched Grenadiers big man Ryne Singsank dominate in the third period, but Hersey held Singsank in check in the final stanza and came up with some big shots down the stretch.

Senior guard Matt Hanushewsky hit 2 clutch 3-pointers in the final minutes as the Huskies scored a 53-41 Mid-Suburban League East boys basketball win.

Hersey was able to withstand the Grens' consistent full-court defensive presence to claim the victory.

"We work a lot in practice on breaking the pressure against zones," said Huskies senior Davis Belford. "That's something we've done all year, and we keep getting better and better."

"Ultimately we trusted our matchups," said Hersey coach Austin Scott. "We just kind of stayed the course on our game plan."

Elk Grove's Ryley Rathman scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the first period as the Grens grabbed an early lead.

Hersey fought back behind 7 second-quarter points from Ryan Verhulst and took a 2-point halftime lead, but Singsank scored 6 straight points out of the intermission break, and grabbed 6 boards, to put Elk Grove back in front.

"He (Singsank) is really good. We haven't played against many players like him," said Belford. "We had to adjust, and it was all due to our big man, (Jacob) Kluczewski. He played great defense the whole game."

Hersey's fourth quarter rally began with less than 4 minutes remaining in the game and the score all tied up.

First Hanushewsky hit a 3-pointer. Next Belford fed Kluczewski for a bucket, then Belford had a driving layup.

Hanushewsky finished up the run with another clutch 3 and Hersey led 49-39 with 1:30 remaining.

Free throws from Hanushewsky and teammate Rocco Ronzio in the final minutes helped close out the win.

Hersey took the victory despite going only 6-of-23 from 3-point range.

"There's going to be some nights when our shots don't go in and we're going to have to grind out victories," said Scott. "Grinding is hard to learn and we're still in the process of learning it. But we're doing a nice job defensively and when our shots start to fall, we'll be dangerous."

Hanushewsky led Hersey with 13 points, Belford scored 12 and Ronzio added 11, while Kluczewski had a game-high 14 rebounds.

Singsank finished with 12 points for the Grens.

"We played really hard tonight, and that's kind of our M.O.," said Elk Grove coach Nick Oraham. "But it's the same thing for us every game -- too many turnovers.

"I think we were north of 20 turnovers today or pretty close to it. I don't mind the dead ball turnovers -- we can live with that and set our defense -- but it's the live ball turnovers that kill us."

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