Schaumburg survives Downers South's upset bid

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/26/2019 3:29 PM

It's not even football season but Schaumburg's boys basketball team scored a touchdown.

The Saxons used a rare seven-point possession to rally and then hold off Downers Grove South 47-46 in the opening round of the 46th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic Thursday at York in Elmhurst.

 

Downers Grove South (1-10) pulled ahead late in the first quarter thanks to the hot shooting of Angelo Ognianov (9 points). The Mustangs, who led by as many as 9, had Schaumburg (10-2) on its heels, trailing 38-34 going into the fourth quarter.

That's when the Saxons scored their touchdown.

Schaumburg's Vaurice Patterson, poked the ball loose at half-court and Jackson Bahn scooped it up. Bahn converted a layup and he was fouled hard from behind. After conferring for nearly a minute, the officials determined that it was an intentional foul.

"I though the guy was going to block me honestly," said Bahn, who would finish with 9 points.

"I just did my fundamentals and laid it in. I have never been in that situation where I had an intentional foul called. I just hit the free throws."

After Bahn tied the game from the free-throw line, Schaumburg was awarded the ball. After skipping the ball around the perimeter, the Saxons found Arnav Karnik who then drilled a wide-open 3-pointer to put the Saxons up 41-38 with 7:23 to play.

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"I think that whenever we make a 3, it gives us some momentum," said Karnik, who would finish with 7 points, all coming in the fourth quarter.

"It usually translates into defense. That's our team. When we play with emotion we are hard to stop."

Schaumburg would score the next 4 points. They held the Mustangs scoreless for the first 4½ minutes of the period as the Saxons built a 45-38 lead.

After the teams traded free throws, Downers South showed it wasn't done. Led by sophomore Tai Butler, who would finish with 12 points, the Mustangs made a last ditch run. Butler hit a 3 and a basket while Christopher Gory had a putback with a minute to play to pull Downers South to within 47-46.

Schaumburg missed a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds left to give the Mustangs one last chance. But Butler's 3 from the corner bounced in and out, to allow the Saxons to break a two-game losing streak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We thought they were a very tough team," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "Anytime you come out with a victory you have to be pleased."

Heisler, who had to sit Chris Hodges for most of the first half when Hodges got into foul trouble, credited Patterson's play to keep the Saxons in the game.

"We had guys step up in roles," Heisler said. "I thought Vaurice was very good today."

Patterson, who would finish with 17 points, said he knew he had to pick up his play.

"They were coming in on Chris and I knew I could do something," said Patterson, who also had 4 steals. "It was a very good day."

Downers Grove South coach Kris Olson said he thought his young and inexperienced Mustangs again gave a top-notch performance.

"That has been our season," Olson said. " Everyone looks at our record. But literally every game but three of them has been the final possession. And right there, the ball is down and it pops out."

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