Battered York nearly takes title at WW South

 
 
Updated 1/21/2019 10:06 PM
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  • Nick Kosich

    Nick Kosich

Erik Cohn looked like Rocky after a title fight.

Nick Kosich spent much of Monday night trying to find a way to wrap his bleeding knee.

Nate Shockey gutted through another game on two pretty sprained ankles while just about everyone else on York's boys basketball team nursed this ailment or that.

And still the Dukes nearly came away with a title.

Rockford East senior Sha'den Clanton scored with four seconds left to give the E-Rabs a 64-62 victory over York in the Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament championship game.

The Dukes (19-3), who finished 3-1 in the grueling 16-team tourney, had one last shot with 2.1 seconds remaining but Kosich's double-pump 3-point attempt rattled out to end the game.

"I thought it was in as I was going to the ground, but unfortunately it kind of rimmed out," said Kosich, who led the Dukes with 25 points while knocking down six 3-pointers. "Tough game, credit to those guys. This is a great experience for us. You hate to lose that, it's a tough one, but I think it'll help us grow."

Cohn scored to lift York to a 60-56 lead with 1:23 left. Turnovers hurt the Dukes on the next couple possessions, allowing the E-Rabs to score 6 straight points and take a 62-60 lead.

Kosich scored in the lane with 22 seconds left to tie it at 62 apiece. Clanton, who led all scorers with 26 points, answered close to the basket after a Rockford East timeout.

"If that ball goes in, if it doesn't go in, it doesn't make a difference to me -- I love the team and love coaching them and very proud of our effort tonight," said York coach Vince Doran. "It's a good experience for us because they're similar to teams we'll see in our sectional."

After two wins on Saturday, York notched its third straight tournament victory earlier on Monday by beating Wheaton Warrenville South 49-36 in the semifinals. The Dukes showed little sign of fatigue while trading the lead six times with the E-Rabs in the first quarter.

York trailed by 7 points throughout the second quarter but Kosich hit five 3-pointers in the period to rally the Dukes within 32-31 heading to halftime.

Shockey scored 14 points and Cohn added 9 of his 11 in the third quarter despite taking a hit to his right eye that forced him to miss most of the second quarter. Sincere Parker scored 14 points for Rockford East while Markarious Luster tallied 12 off the bench.

WW South 53, Benet 39:

Jeff Kratz became mighty comfortable at the free-throw line.

The Wheaton Warrenville South senior poured in 33 points -- 17-of-23 shooting from the line including 11 of 16 in the fourth quarter -- as the Tigers topped Benet 53-39 in the WW South MLK Tournament third-place game.

The game stayed close until three minutes into the second half when the Tigers (15-6) rattled off an 18-1 run that lasted two minutes into the fourth quarter. Kratz scored the first 8 points for his team in the fourth quarter, all from the free-throw line.

"I realized in the fourth quarter, 'I've been here for a while,'" Kratz said of his free throws. "We knew whoever we were going to play (after the semifinal loss) was a good team. Our mentality was we've got to go."

Trailing 46-29 midway through the fourth quarter, Benet (16-5) made its final push. A 10-3 run narrowed the margin to 49-39 with 2:35 remaining after a pair of free throws by Colin Crothers, who scored 8 points, but WW South held the Redwings scoreless the rest of the way.

"I thought we were really tough tonight," said Tigers coach Mike Healy. "Offensively, defensively, on the glass. We were fighting and clawing."

Joe Ives scored 8 points for WW South while Kendrick Tchoua led Benet, which lost 60-57 to Rockford East in the semifinals on a last-second 3-pointer, with 15 points.

Twitter: @kevin_schmit

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