Schaumburg rallies to beat Hinsdale South

 
By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/31/2019 6:25 PM

When a high school basketball team loses a 6-point lead with 1:07 left in the game, that team could pack it in and take the loss.

Not in the case of the Schaumburg Saxons, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Trailing by 1 after Hinsdale South's Billy Durkin hit a 3-point basket, the Saxons didn't throw in the towel.

Instead A.J. Prowell's layup with 40 seconds left in the game gave Schaumburg a 1-point lead. Chris Hodges then hit four free throws to seal a 53-48 win over the Hornets in the third-place game at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic Tuesday afternoon in Elmhurst.

Following Prowell's layup, senior Jared Schoo took a charge with 18 seconds left, setting up the first two Hodges free throws.

"Jared took a huge charge on that play," said Saxons coach Wade Heisler. "With Chris hitting the free throws and coming back, I couldn't have been more proud."

Hodges and Schoo were both voted to the all-tournament team.

Not to be forgotten was the 18-7 start Schaumburg (13-3) had in the first quarter. Hodges scored 9 of his team-high 17 points.

"It was really important to get off to a fast start today," Hodges said. "We learned from our loss (Monday to York) that we had to come out with a fiery start. That was my main focus, to come out fiery. We didn't want to put ourselves in a hole to begin with. Even when we fell behind late, we refused to lose."

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The Saxons defense put the clamps on Hornets all-tournament selection Aaron Tims. Tims scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

"We struggle sometimes when we don't realize big men are a huge part of basketball," said Hinsdale South coach Brett Moore. "I thought he played well in the second half and slowed down Hodges some. What it came down to is it's hard to beat Schaumburg when they hit 11 3-point baskets."

The Saxons connected on 11 of 21 long-range shots and 8 of 16 from inside the arc. The Hornets (11-2) shot 4 of 16 from beyond the arc. But Hinsdale South shot 17 of 24 inside.

"We know we can shoot the ball," Heisler said. "We want to be sure our shooters are consistent. It's a big part of our team.

"Today our guys hit 3s around Hodges and executed plays around him. Last night, all parties involved, we just didn't get him the ball enough. One of our goals today was to get him the ball."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Vaurice Patterson and Armen Torosian each had 9 points on three 3-point baskets. Arnav Karick hit two key 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter.

Schoo dished out 4 assists and had a steal.

"When they made that 7-0 run on us," Schoo said, "we did things on those three turnovers that we were not very good at. We went back on the floor and moved the ball and got good shots. I feel that this team can be really good."

Palatine 56, St. Francis 55:

Luke Seifert's layup with three seconds left in the game propelled the Pirates (7-5) to the consolation title at York. A last-second St. Francis 3-point shot hit the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

"We made one more play when we needed to down the stretch," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "If you get out of this tournament, with all the tough teams, 4-1, you're doing some thing right."

Julian Campbell led the Pirates with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Connor Aikman added 15 points for the winners.

Eric Welch scored 14 points and Robert Nocek 12 for the Spartans.

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