Ridgewood sneaks past Antioch

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/27/2019 10:16 PM

In recent years, Antioch's boys basketball team has had great success in regional play and the Sequoits thought another good run was in the making this season.

Dan Filippone has been one of the leaders of the Sequoits not only for his scoring but also for what the team put together on and off the court.


On Wednesday night, Filippone scored a team-high 15 points and when the game ended it meant so much to him and the team.

"I wouldn't want to play on any other team," said Filippone, who has been with a number of his teammates since fifth grade. "Not only in the past several years, but we developed this bond that will carry us for the rest of our lives. I will always talk to these guys, I love what we do here, I love our culture and I love what we stand for."

The Sequoits appeared to have the game in hand against host Ridgewood into the final quarter. But Antioch fell into a scoring drought and Ridgewood picked up momentum. Seventh-seeded Ridgewood had enough to get past No. 10 Antioch 56-54 in the Class 3A regional semifinal in Norridge on Wednesday night.

Ridgewood (15-11) will host No. 2 DePaul College Prep (21-9) in the regional final Friday at 7 p.m.

"It was the last five minutes. We did come out the right way in the fourth quarter," Antioch coach Jim White said. "I think we were rolling offensively and defensively. We just laid off the gas too early. We wanted layups and moving the ball we got stagnant. That got us hesitant and it affected our passes and finishes. It just led to transition points for (Ridgewood) and it snowballed really quickly. Fourth quarter, we didn't do that much different but maybe being less aggressive."

Antioch (13-14) had recovered from a 6-point deficit in the third to take a 44-41 lead into the final quarter.

Then, the Sequoits went on a 7-1 run as Kevin Tebbe dropped in a pair of free throws for a 51-42 lead with 5:48 remaining.

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The Rebels took advantage of a few missed shots and turnovers and scored 13 unanswered points. Ridgewood's Kevin Czyzewski capped it off with a layup with 27 seconds left for a 55-51 advantage.

Filippone scored 11 points in the second half and dropped in a timely 3-pointer with 11.1 seconds left on the clock that cut the lead to 55-54.

Ridgewood's Eric Clancy (8 points) made 1 of 2 free throws to give the Rebels a 2-point lead with 6.4 seconds remaining. The Sequoits had one last shot for a chance to tie or the win, but had a 3-point shot come up short.

"We just kept our composure a little bit and our seniors made some plays late in the game," Ridgewood coach Chris Mroz said. "We had a great two to three possessions in a row. We just survived and advanced. (Antioch) was extremely scrappy. We knew going in it would be a battle. They're very well-disciplined and well-coached. They played really hard and one of us was lucky enough to get out of here."

Enes Prijic led the Rebels with a game-high 16 points. The Rebels were able to knock down 10 3-pointers in 21 attempts.

Jack Gillespie off Antioch contributed with 14 points and 6 rebounds.

"Playing with these guys since fifth grade, it's tough to see it end," Gillespie said. "We've been here before and been in this spot many times. We knew what we were going to get. I still think we played well and deserved to win that game."

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