Trotter joins 1,000 club as Schaumburg downs Conant
In earning their 16th victory of the season Friday evening over archrival Conant, Schaumburg's boys basketball team had to overcome a trio of obstacles to earn that win.
First, it had to make it through a late afternoon snowfall that made the short 3.2 mile to the high school located on the east side of Hoffman Estates a little treacherous.
Second, it along with the host Cougars endured a 15 minute delay to the opening tip-off as a result of two of the three assigned officials being unable to make it in time for the 6 p.m. start. A referee from one of the lower-level games filled in until both officials arrived by the early stages of the second quarter.
Last but not certainly least, the Saxons would need to overcome a pugnacious Conant challenge that saw a 10-point lead dwindle down to only 2 over the final 3:21 that needed a pair of Michael Hodges free throws to preserve a 45-41 victory at Perry Gym.
"Anytime you play Conant it's going to be a battle. You never come in here unprepared knowing it's going to be a dogfight," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said.
The win allowed Schaumburg (16-5, 6-1) to remain in a first-place tie alongside Fremd atop the MSL West standings. The Vikings bested crosstown rival Palatine 51-37 on their home floor a few minutes prior to the completion of Schaumburg's triumph.
It also marked the first time the Saxons swept the regular-season series from Conant since the 2014-15 season when current Schaumburg athletic director Marty Manning was head coach.
After a drive inside by Conant's Raj Mittal (team-high 13 points) that pulled Conant within 34-31 with 6:36 left, the visitors went on a decisive 9-2 run over the next 3:15 that gave them a 43-33 advantage on a Hodges layup.
Six-foot-3 senior Heze Trotter scored the first 7 points of the run that featured a 3-pointer in between a pair of drives inside the lane. He finished the night with a game-high 19 points.
Trotter, a four-year varsity letterman, crossed the 1,000 point mark for his career on another inside hoop in the paint with 4:11 left in the opening quarter of play.
"I'm just happy that we got the win," Trotter, who now has 1,015 points, said. "I couldn't be happier with this team. It's a great feeling."
Trotter, who committed to NCAA Division II Missouri Western last Sunday, has left a positive impression on his head coach.
"He's awfully special," Heisler said. "Best part about Heze is he makes others better and seeing that over the past f our years is something that I'm super proud of."
Six-8 sophomore Chris Hodges added 10 points for the Saxons while 6-4 sophomore Devon Ellis added 11 for Conant.