Schaumburg 'Schoos' away Lyons in Tosh quarterfinals
Schaumburg dropped the 'Schoo' on Lyons.
Jared Schoo had a pair of key 3-pointers and converted 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter to lift the Saxons past Lyons 48-44 in the quarterfinals of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at York High School in Elmhurst Saturday.
With the win, Schaumburg (12-2) advances to the semifinals for the first time. The Saxons will meet defending tournament champion York Monday at 6:30 p.m.
"We really don't care who gets the credit," said Schoo, who finished with 16 points. "If someone is having an off day, everyone steps up. Today it was my day. I just had to make sure I hit my free throws."
Despite being a midafternoon game, Schaumburg looked asleep. The Saxons fell behind 13-9 early in the second quarter when Arnav Karnik drilled a 3 from the corner.
The play was like an alarm going off for the Saxons, who immediately began to pick up the intensity on both ends of the court. They began to find Craig Hodges down low on the post and the junior responded with four buckets and a free throw as Schaumburg scored 12 unanswered points to lead 21-13.
Lyons (5-5) rallied behind the strong play of Grant Niego. The senior guard, who would finish with 27 points, continually drove to the basket off ball screens and helped the Lions tie the game at 25 midway through the third quarter.
Schaumburg then opted to put Hodges on Niego.
"Chris can guard anybody when he is engaged," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "He was switching onto him so we decided to do it all the time."
Hodges, who scored all 13 of his points in the first half, said he was open to the change.
"I am always open for new challenges," said Hodges, who had 3 blocked shots, all in the second half. "He is a great player. It was good guarding him."
Hodges' defensive play helped clear the way for the Saxons to pull away in the fourth quarter. A.J. Prowell, who found himself free on the baseline when Lyons concentrated its defensive efforts to slow Hodges, had a pair of free throws and a layup as Schaumburg opened up a 34-29 lead with 6:52 to play.
"Everyone was looking at Chris, so it opened things up for me," said Prowell, who finished with 6 points. "I was just working to get open and our guards found me."
Lyons got back to within three on a basket by Niego, but that's when Schoo took over. He nailed a 3 and hit a free throw to make it 38-31. Schoo then converted 6 consecutive free throws as the Saxons surged to a 44-34 lead with 1:15 to play.
Lyons made it interesting when the Lions, who had not hit a 3-pointer, got back-to-back treys from Josh Heath and Niego, but just ran out of time.
"It was a large win for us," Heisler said. "Lyons has had a great tournament and I thought they were phenomenal. It took us a bit to start paying well because we were so excited. It has been some time since we have competing to play in a championship round."
Lyons will play Rolling Meadows at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.