Bolingbrook slips past Oswego East

 
By Scott Schmid
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/8/2019 9:42 PM

After losing in a Class 4A boys basketball sectional final a year ago, Bolingbrook wanted a second chance this season.

The Raiders cashed in on that opportunity Friday night, outlasting Oswego East 66-64 in a scintillating back-and-forth affair in front of a packed crowd at East Aurora High School.

 

Bolingbrook (23-7) advances to the Normal supersectional on Tuesday while the Wolves, who came up just short in a bid for their first sectional title, finished the winter at 24-8.

"It's huge and I'm proud of my teammates," said Tyler Cochran, who scored 15 points and was one of four players in double figures for the Raiders. "But I don't want to get too happy, too excited. We have one more game, that's our object. We have one more game to get down there (to state)."

This contest wasn't decided until the final horn when an Oswego East 3-point attempt bounced off the rim as time expired.

Bolingbrook had taken a 64-61 lead with 50 seconds left on a dunk by Kameron Leonard and extended that margin to 5 on a pair of free throws by Jordan Myrick. But Oswego East's Ray J Dennis answered with a 3-pointer and after a missed foul shot, the Wolves got the ball back with just under eight seconds remaining for their final attempt.

"That was a very tough game," said Bolingbrook guard Joseph Yesufu, who made five 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. "They came out and they came right at us. It was a wake-up call in that first half.

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"But we wanted to get revenge (for losing to West Aurora in the sectional final last year). A lot of stuff happened last year and we didn't play as well but we pulled it off this year."

Dennis, a Boise State recruit, finished with 18 points and 5 steals for Oswego East while Demari Grant topped the team with 19. Sam Schultz scored 12 and Kamron Battle had 11.

"We had a great season," Dennis said. "We are the best team to ever come through Oswego East. I love these guys."

Darius Burford also scored 16 for Bolingbrook and Myrick finished with 11. The Raiders led 55-53 heading into the fourth quarter after the score was 36-36 at halftime. And despite the up and down pace, the teams combined for just 19 turnovers.

"Oswego East is really, really good," Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. "It's the first time we were playing where we knew their guards were as good as ours.

"We talked at halftime, it would come down to what players made the most plays. I said in our last timeout, we have to make a play. And our guys did just that."

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