York shuts down Schaumburg
In NASCAR they call it trading paint. In basketball the equivalent is big bodies crashing into each other down low to gain even the slightest advantage.
York 6-foot-5 post players Tim Glavan and Denton Rohde traded plenty of paint Monday night in a semifinal of the Dukes' 46th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic, almost all of it with Schaumburg junior Chris Hodges, a Wisconsin recruit.
The Dukes will play for the tournament championship at 3 p.m. Tuesday against Bolingbrook.
At the end of the evening, Hodges had but 2 points on only one shot attempted, though to be fair, he did have 10 rebounds.
Glavan and Rohde, on the other hand, were on their way to the tournament final Tuesday afternoon with a 49-33 victory, with the chance to defend their 2018 title. They'll bring along with them scout players like 6-4 senior Dan Wagner, who took on the role of the 6-8 Hodges in practice.
"It all starts with our game plan," Glavan said. "(Hodges is) obviously an amazing player, a (Division I) talent. It starts with our scout team. Dan Wagner, he's a big football kid, he portrayed what Chris was going to do all game perfectly in walk-through today in getting ready for the game."
Added Rohde: "You can't overstate how hard they were working. We were soaking with sweat, because we were going hard and Dan was acting like Hodges, and as we went into the locker room after, the coaches gave the credit to him. He's the reason why we were ready."
York assistant coach Rob Wastrazsky stepped in for coach Vince Doran, whose wife just gave birth, and implored Glavan and Rohde in particular to give him three or four minutes of tough play on Hodges at a time.
It worked. Hodges didn't score in the first half, picking up his only bucket with 4:58 left in the third quarter. Meanwhile, his teammates took just 12 shots in the first half, sinking but 5.
And York? The Dukes had an 8-0 run, and then another 11-2 spurt at the end of the second quarter through the beginning of the third.
"I think we had a slow start," Hodges said. "We picked it up third quarter, played more like ourselves, played more aggressive, fundamental. Second quarter, we didn't play anything like us."
York senior point guard Nate Shockey, a North Dakota recruit who led all scorers with 22 points, including three 3-pointers, said handling Hodges was the key.
"Our whole game plan was always have contact with him, be physical with him," Shockey said. "The guys in the walk-through really exemplified what he was going to do in the game, and that definitely helped with our game plan."
Schaumburg (12-3) showed major signs of life in the third quarter, finishing it with a 14-2 run that cut York's lead to 34-31. The Saxons' Jared Schoo started that spurt with 9 straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
It was a good showcase, but Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler wished for more.
"I think we came out of half a little more motivated, but the problem is, you can't play the type of teams left on this side of the bracket for a quarter," Heisler said. "You have to come out, and it takes a lot of energy to dig yourself out of a hole."
Schoo led the Saxons with 12 points, while Arnav Karnik had 9, on three 3-pointers.
Jeff Grace had 16 points on perfect 8-for-8 shooting for York (9-1), while Shockey had 6 rebounds and sophomore guard Nick Hesch had 5.