Deerfield too big for Buffalo Grove

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/26/2018 8:34 PM

Buffalo Grove's boys basketball team faced too tall an order against Deerfield Wednesday night at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.

The Warriors' front line goes 6-foot-10, 6-9 and 6-7 and those three players -- Brandon Lieb, Jackson Kenyon and Walt Mattingly -- scored a combined 31 points as BG lost 56-47.

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Junior Nate Cole led the Bison with a game-high 21 points while freshman Kam Craft scored 13, and though BG fell to 7-5 on the season, coach Keith Peterson was impressed with his team's effort.

"I actually thought that we played really hard today," said Peterson. "Deerfield's zone is just tough, and we missed some good looks early -- then in the second half we just didn't execute enough, but their size makes a big difference."

The game was close all the way through until the final minute.

In the opening period, Cole had 2 consecutive 3-pointers and a layup, and Ethan Soifer and Mike Nowakowski pitched in with buckets as BG took an early lead.

BG senior Tom Trieb's terrific effort on defense in the second quarter, including a sequence where he made consecutive steals and fed Cole for a couple of baskets, led the Bison to a 24-22 halftime advantage.


Deerfield used a third-quarter run to lead by as many as 6, and kept the momentum in the fourth as the Warriors led 51-47 with 1:40 remaining.

The turning point of the game came in the final minute as Deerfield guard Danny Golub missed 2 free throws, but got his own rebound on the second miss and sank a layup to put the Warriors up by 6.

Then Deerfield closed out the game at the free throw line, hitting 10 foul shots in the final stanza.

There was a wide disparity in the contest at the line, as the Warriors were 16-of-22 on free throws while the Bison went to the line only 5 times, making 4.

"Early in the season we had trouble in the fourth quarter," said Golub. "After our Thanksgiving tournament we worked on that a lot in practice and that showed up here. We really did a good job tonight finishing the game out strong."

Soifer added 4 points for BG.

"We just didn't execute offensively or defensively in the fourth quarter," said Peterson. "We did some different things and changed up the pressure defensively, but offensively you've got to go faster against their zone and that made things even more difficult."

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