Schaumburg advances to Tosh quarters with win over Highland Park
Schaumburg's boys basketball team had too much size and then too much defense for Highland Park Friday.
Chris Hodges, staying down on the low post, broke double and even triple-teams, connecting for 18 points. His play led Schaumburg past Highland Park 43-32 in the second round of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York in Elmhurst.
Schaumburg (11-2) advanced to the quarterfinals on Saturday where the Saxons will meet Lyons at 3:30 p.m.
At 6-foot-8, Schaumburg's Hodges knows a thing or two about giants. Hodges, who has verbally committed to Wisconsin, not only had to battle his way down on the post, but he had to handle a Giant zone defense that sagged on him when the ball came his way.
"I am kind of used to that," said Hodges, who had 9 rebounds and was 9-of-10 from the field. "I look to pick my spots and stay focused. Then I try to hit my shooters on the wings."
Hodges did just that, scoring 10 of his points in the first half. But the Saxon shooters were cold, knocking down just 1-of-11 shots from outside the arc in the first half. Despite that, Schaumburg led 16-15 at the break.
"We shout it worse than we have," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "We have been shooting above 45 percent, so that was quite low for us. It is one of those things that you have to keep believing."
Hodges had confidence is team's ability to knock some 3-pointers.
"I just have to believe in my teammates and assume that they will fall," Hodges said. "Once they did, the inside game would open up."
And just like that, it did.
Joseph Storino, Vaurice Patterson and Jackson Bahn all knocked down treys for the Saxons as they built a 29-24 advantage with 2:17 left in the third quarter. Highland Park (7-3) then went on an 8-2 spurt to close out the quarter with a 32-31 lead.
But that was it for offense for the Giants as they would go scoreless in the final quarter thanks to a pressuring Saxon defense.
"When we went into halftime, it was a low-scoring game," Schaumburg's Jared Schoo said. "If we could hold them to another low-scoring half we knew we could come out in top."
With Schaumburg hitting from the outside, the inside became less crowded for Hodges in the final quarter. He took full advantage of the extra room and scored inside with 5:32 remaining to put the Saxons up for good at 33-32.
Schaumburg would close out the game with the final 10 points.
Schoo, who would finish with 6 points, also took advantage of the extra real estate for a pair of layups. Arnav Karnik then had a steal and a layup while Hodges added a dunk and a pair of free throws to finish off the contest.
"I thought we were composed and really came out to execute and defend," Heisler said. "Our guys really wanted this one and I thought we played that way."