Hesch, York take OT victory vs. LT
Sophomore Nick Hesch wants to contribute in his first varsity season for the York boys basketball team.
"It's all about the team and I've got to make sure that I'm helping the team,"Hesch said.
He made perhaps the biggest rebound of the game Friday.
Hesch's offensive rebound and free throws in overtime were huge in the Dukes' hard-fought 51-41 victory over Lyons Township in the West Suburban Conference Silver opener for both teams in Elmhurst.
York (4-1) scored the final 12 points after LT (3-1) scored on its first possession of overtime.
Hesch's free throws for a 42-41 York lead came after tracking down the missed free throw by teammate Denton Rohde and being fouled in one-and-bonus. They were his only points of the game.
"I didn't think I helped the team early on," Hesch said. "I felt that rebound was something I could do. It was a hustle play. That's how we're going to win games, crashing the boards."
York senior Nate Shockey was a huge presence as usual, scoring 26 points, including a huge 3-pointer under pressure with 5.2 seconds left that sent the game into overtime at 39. Jeff Grace added 10 points, including 4 of 4 free throws in OT, and Rohde had 8 points.
Grant Niego scored 14 points for the Lions with 8 in the fourth quarter and their only OT basket. Mike Niedermeyer added 9 points and John Wall had 8.
The Lions pulled ahead 33-24 with 4:40 left on a Niego 3, but York responded with a 10-0 run to go ahead 34-33 with 2:09 left.
With 18.0 seconds left, Shockey was fouled trying a 3 and hit two of the three free throws. After Niego made one of two free throws to put LT ahead 39-36, York called time out with 9.7 seconds left.
Jake Brandolino inbounded cross-court to Grace, who quickly kicked out to Shockey before the Lions could foul anyone in 2-point range as LT coach Tom Sloan had hoped.
"That's what's so nice. We run a play, Lyons defended it. We got nothing off of it and Nate just made a play. That's why he's a Division I player. He made key plays," York coach Vince Doran said.
"We just really hung in there and proud of our kids but that's just how the league is going to be this year, a lot of parity."
Rebounds played a big role in York's victory. The Dukes allowed just 3 offensive rebounds while LT was 2 of 20 shooting from 3-point range even with a make on the game's first possession.
"We coughed the ball up a couple of times in key moments and York made plays," Sloan said. "We gave up too many offensive rebounds and missed some free throws that would have been big ones to get. We made too many mistakes in the last couple of minutes of a tight game."
York won its first two games of the season by one point but this victory was sweeter, coming at home and in the Silver opener.
LT won its season-opening tournament with three double-digit victories.
"I would say we got lucky, especially the win against Maine (South)," Rohde said. "This game, we stated off slow but I feel like we earned this one. We're able to celebrate this because we played hard and we left it all out on the floor."