Coffaro's play helps Hersey hold off Wheeling
Now retired Chicago White Sox TV broadcaster Ken Harrelson used to say, "Don't tell me what you hit. Tell me when you hit it."
For Hersey's Jace Coffaro it was 'Don't tell me what you scored. Tell me when you scored.'
Coffaro scored 7 points and all were at key moments at Hersey's Ken Carter gymnasium Friday night.
Along with help from teammates Jacob Kluczewski, Rocco Ronzio and Jason Schmidt's 9 points off the bench Hersey came away with a 57-48 win over Wheeling in the Mid-Suburban East.
"Jace is a competitor in everything he does," said Hersey coach Austin Scott. "He wants to win and he lays it on the line in every game he plays in. Growing up in the Coffaro household with all those boys, he learned how to compete. No matter what he does, he competes."
Coffaro didn't score until there was four minutes left in the third quarter with Hersey leading 38-36. Coffaro's basket to go along with Kluczewski's gave the Huskies (12-10, 5-3) a 42-36 lead over the Wildcats. Wheeling's Cade Zalewski hit 3 free throws to narrow the gap to 42-39 with 1:06 left in the quarter.
Coffaro's drive to the basket to score with two seconds left gave the Huskies a 44-39 lead.
"I saw that time was winding down," said Coffaro. "I just drove to the basket on the right side for the layup which gave us a five-point lead."
Following Matt Hanushewsky's basket for Hersey, Coffaro connected on a 3-point play with 3:24 left in the game to give Hersey a 51-42 lead and Wheeling could not recover.
"I didn't have a lot of confidence early in the season," said Coffaro. "I'm a senior and going for the wins for my team. Going for the loose balls, taking charges, and finishing plays. My teammates have made things easier for me. We need to stick together as a team and enjoy our last games as seniors and enjoy playing together."
Kluczewski led the Huskies with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ronzio scored 15 points. Hanushewsky dished out 6 assists.
"When we fell behind 6-0 early," said Kluczewski, "we had to get our energy going. That helped us feed off each other and we outscored them 20-7 to finish the quarter. We did a good job on defense in the second half outscoring them 28-21."
Jeremy Kim led the Wildcats (6-15, 1-7) with 12 points. Joe Jordan and Zalewski each scored 9 points.
"We have been making improvements as a team in every game," said Wheeling coach Michael O'Keeffe. "We lost by 19 last time to Hersey, lost to Buffalo Grove by one and had the lead on Prospect last week in the fourth quarter. We're just two or three scoring possession from winning some of our games."
"They have become a tough team," said Scott of Wheeling. "He has his team battling every game. He's building that program from the ground up."