Unselfish York tops Downers South in Tosh thriller
Poise, unselfishness, an MVP performance -- and a "Christmas miracle."
These things earned York the title of its own 45th Jack Tosh Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament, 55-52 over Downers Grove South on Monday in Elmhurst.
"They don't care about the individual accolades, they care about winning. It's fun to coach kids like that, and I'm so happy for them that we were able to win this tonight," said Dukes coach Vince Doran, taking his third Tosh championship after winning it in 2012 and 2015.
Nate Shockey's 2 free throws gave York a 55-49 lead with 39.3 seconds left to play. Downers South's Justin Eagins hit an off-balance 3 to bring the Mustangs within 55-52 with 13 seconds left.
York (14-1) missed 2 free throws, but Downers South (9-5) just missed a last-gasp 3.
On Saturday, Shockey left the gym on crutches with his left ankle wrapped in ice after spraining it in York's semifinal win over St. Laurence.
In Monday's return -- Doran dubbed it a "Christmas miracle" -- he scored a team-high 17 points and earned all-tournament honors with teammate Sam Walsh, the MVP, and Mustangs Eagins and Wes Hooker.
"He sent me a text and I didn't believe it," Doran said of Shockey's availability.
"I got it taped up, threw a brace on and I just sucked it up, I guess," Shockey said.
York began by emphasizing Walsh in the post. The senior paced the Dukes' 8-0 lead, as did their 1-2-2 press.
"You have to respect our shooters, and it opens it up for me," said Walsh, who totaled 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals.
As Eagins said, "it's a long game." Downers South rallied within 13-12 after one quarter and led 24-22 on a Hooker 3 late in the second quarter.
"We buy into staying together and putting our best effort on the floor and leaving it all out there, knowing it's going to pay off," Eagins said.
The game was tied 26-26 at halftime and 28-28 soon thereafter, but whenever the Mustangs pressured York answered.
The Dukes used 6-0 and 8-0 runs in the third quarter to enter the fourth up 42-36.
When an Eagins 3 brought the Mustangs within 48-46 midway through the fourth, York's Erik Cohn scored in the lane, made a free throw and Nick Kosich added two more to bump the lead to 53-46 with 54.1 seconds to play.
Cohn scored 11 points with Kosich at 10. The Mustangs' Timmeon Gamble scored 11 points, Eagins 12 and Hooker scored 20 with four 3s.
"Five games in six days, they gave their heart and soul and it comes down a ball that rolled out at the end," said Mustangs coach Kris Olson. "I feel great about their effort."