Cook interception seals Miller's 300th Glenbard East victory

 
By Joe Coughlin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/13/2019 10:45 PM

Deon Cook made a name for himself snatching passes out of the air for the Glenbard East football team.

But ball skills like that translate indoors as well, and Cook showed them off on the Rams' basketball court Friday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

With 1.9 seconds left Cook ripped a Fenton lob pass out of the air to seal his team's dramatic 55-54 Upstate Eight Conference victory.

"During practice we went over their scouting report and that was one of the main plays they did," Cook said. "So once they sent a down screen, I recognized the play. ... (I) just jumped the play."

The steal capped a wild, back-and-forth affair that had the makings of the opposite early on.

Glenbard East sprinted out to a 14-2 lead, but then Andre Reed broke free.

In the second quarter Fenton's sharpshooter buried three 3-pointers, including a 4-point play and a halftime buzzer-beater to pull his team to within 28-26 at the break.

Reed drilled two more 3s during a 9-2 third-quarter run that gave the Bison a 35-30 lead.

The senior finished with eight 3s and a game-high 27 points.

"I'm just happy for (Reed). I couldn't be happier for him," Fenton coach Chaz Taft said. "He's been steady every day. He's one of our hardest workers. He brings it every day. I love coaching that kid."

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But Glenbard East's DaRon Hall was up to the challenge, as well.

Hall not only had a team-high 21 points, but also locked down Reed for an eight-minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters.

"I asked coach if I could guard him, so I was face-guarding him and I think I held him to like two points," said Hall, who hit four 3s of his own.

Hall had 5 points in the third to keep his team close, but it was Joe Hamilton's back-to-back 3-pointers that tied things up going into the fourth quarter.

Hamilton, who scored 12 points, also ate up a lot of minutes with Cook in foul trouble and was the key ballhandler during a 14-4 run that gave the Rams a 7-point fourth-quarter lead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Joe played a (heck) of a game," Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said. "He picked up some slack and hit some big shots.

"We didn't turn the ball over like we did in the first half against the top of (Fenton's) zone. We settled down a bit and got some better looks."

Reed, though, broke loose again, hitting two big 3s to get his team back in it.

Down the stretch neither team took advantage of openings. They combined for 7 missed free throws and 8 turnovers.

With less than a minute to go, Hall made 1 of 2 at the line to give his team a 55-52 lead before Fenton's Ricky Lopez, who tallied 4 steals on the night, hit a pair of freebies to bring the Rams within 1.

Fenton turned Glenbard East over with 1.9 left to get the ball back, but the steal by Cook sealed the win for the hosts -- and also Miller's 300th win as the Rams coach.

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