Schaumburg dominates New Trier
Schaumburg's boys basketball team believes in itself and that belief paid off Friday night in a convincing 61-45 win over New Trier in the finals of the Class 4A Glenbrook North regional.
The Saxons did it in every phase of the game. They shot a disciplined 18-of-32 from the field, rarely settling for a bad look. They did it at the free-throw line, going 19-of-23 while earning each and every attempt.
They did it on defense, limiting New Trier's tall, power lineup to 15-of-37 from the floor, 6-of-16 on 3-pointers, holding it to no field goals and just 3 points in the second quarter and forcing 10 second-half turnovers out of the usually sure-handed Trevians, who came into the game as the No. 2 seed in the Niles North sectional.
Except now, after asserting control and never giving it back after the second quarter, the sectional's No. 7 seed, Schaumburg (23-6), will meet Loyola Academy Wednesday at Niles North.
And for the Saxons, it feels good.
"It feels amazing," said Heze Trotter, the multiple-sport star who reflected that he's "been waiting four years for this. I haven't been this excited since I've been here."
Nor has head coach Wade Heisler, who credited those who came before him, players and coaches, with setting the mood and direction in which he was able to take the team.
"These guys put so much work in. They are so committed," he said.
They showed it. Trailing 14-13 after one quarter, the Saxons took control, continuing a 5-point run to end the first quarter into a 10-point run all told as Trotter hit a tough fadeaway jumper from the baseline and Michael Hodges hit a 3-pointer in transition. Hodges would lead the team with 18 points, 5-of-5 from the floor, 4-of-4 on 3-pointers, over New Trier's pesky 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone defenses.
The 1-3-1 gave Schaumburg some problems, but after a timeout to reset, Trotter, 6-foot-7 Chris Hodges and Jared Schoo starting cutting through it for layups that kept extending the lead and forced New Trier out of its inside power game, which relies on the shoulders of Ciaran Brayboy (15 points). He looked every bit the all-state candidate he is around the basket in the first half. And when complemented by Noah Osher's outside shooting, New Trier looked every bit the No. 2 seed it came in as until Schaumburg found the solution.
"We practiced against (the 1-3-1). We knew we had to go back to attacking it," Trotter explained.
For Heisler, it was a trip down memory lane to an extent, and a gratifying one, thankful for the groundwork the players and coaches who came before laid down for him and his players.
"The seniors before them laid the groundwork," he said. "Now these kids are so deserving."
And not done yet either.
"I'm not satisfied yet," said Trotter.
Just ask New Trier