Prairie Ridge plays spoiler on Dundee-Crown's special night

By Scott Miller
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/18/2019 10:30 PM

On a night when Dundee Crown celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the 2008-2009 boys basketball team that went to the state tournament the script didn't go quite as planned.

Visiting Prairie Ridge, which had just one win all season, rained on the Chargers' parade with a 53-46 upset win in Fox Valley Conference action. Michael Patterson had a game-high 25 points to lead the Wolves.

"We've been hollering at them all year if they just compete and play hard for all 32 minutes they can play with anyone," Prairie Ridge coach Ryan Smith said. "And tonight we competed hard for all 32 minutes. We handled their pressure and controlled the tempo. This was the best game offensively and defensively we have played all year. They deserve to get more wins with how hard they have been working."

After leading throughout much of the first half the Wolves fell behind 35-30 in the third quarter and trailed 35-33 heading into the fourth quarter. However, Patterson led a fourth quarter surge with 11 points to help the Wolves regain the lead and keep it the rest of the way.

Patterson's driving layup tied the game 35-35 and his pullup jumper with 5:15 left in the 4th quarter put the Wolves up for good 37-35. He added a 3-pointer and 4 free throws down the stretch.

"When he is rolling like he was tonight our offense clicks on all cylinders," Smith said. "He was making some tough shots and the rest of the team was feeding off his energy."

After a halftime ceremony it appeared the magic of the 2008-2009 state finalists had rubbed off on the current Chargers. D-C (15-4, 7-3) trailed 26-19 early in the third quarter but went on a 16-4 run, fueled by a pair of Kyle Huber 3-pointers, to take a 35-30 lead.

However, the Chargers shot just 2 of 7 from the field the rest of the way as they relinquished the lead.

"They made big shots and we didn't," D-C coach Lance Huber said. "That's what the game pretty much came down to. We were coming off a tough four-game stretch and hand it to Prairie Ridge because they came out and took it to us. Hopefully this is a wake-up call that we need to come out and work our butts off every game."

That was one thing Huber never had to worry about with the 2008-2009 team.

"Their goal was nobody would ever outwork them," Huber said. "It was just a great fun group of guys. It was just a joy hanging out with them every day in practice. The best memory is that they didn't care at all about personal statistics. They just cared about winning games."

The 2008-2009 team holds the school records for the most wins in a season and was the first Fox Valley Conference team to make it to state. All but 3 of the members made it to the ceremony, including Jeff Beck, who was named player of the year by two separate publications.

"It's great to be back reminiscing with all the guys," said Beck, who now works as a financial adviser. "We had a lot of fun that year. I remember going out to breakfast together, the bus rides, the fun we had practice. But when we got on the court we played hard every minute. That's my advice to this team -- have fun but always play hard and give it everything you got every night."

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