Craft's OT blitz helps Buffalo Grove down Glenbrook North
Kam Craft picked up his game just when Buffalo Grove needed him to.
The highly-touted sophomore scored 13 of his 21 points in overtime to lead the Bison past visiting Glenbrook North 74-69 Saturday.
Craft struggled through most of regulation play. He converted just 3-of-12 shots from the field and didn't connect on any of his seven 3-point attempts.
Overtime, however, was his.
Craft scored the first 13 points for the Bison in overtime. He nailed all five of his field goals, including an impressive pullup trey from NBA range. He also had a pair of free throws, 2 rebounds and a steal.
"I had a rough game through the first four quarters," Kraft said. "In overtime I was just looking to help my team win. In overtime, I got going and I got hot and we were able to get the win."
Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson had plenty of praise for Kraft.
"I told him after the game that great players keep grinding," Peterson said. "He did a great job of rebounding. He had good looks. He just kept fighting. When that first one went in, you could see the change in his pace."
Glenbrook North coach David Weber, who coached Jon Scheyer when the Spartans won a state title, was impressed with Craft's play.
"He is good," said Weber, who is retiring at the end of this season. "I thought his rebounding was very good and that pullup 3 was incredible. He is a great player."
It would not have even got to Kraft time if not for some heavy duty shot firing by Matt Brunelli. The senior, who set a school record on Friday with 10 3-pointers, had five more Saturday. His play helped the Bison erase an 11-point deficit with 5:19 left in the third quarter.
"I was trying to get it done for my teammates," said Brunelli, who had 24 points. "Once I see it go in, I have confidence. My teammates were getting me the ball and I was knocking it down."
Nate Cole (10 points) jump-started Buffalo Grove (14-3). He scored the first 8 points of the game and had the Bison hoping for a runaway.
The Spartans (4-12) had other ideas thanks to the play of Ben Foster, who had 29 points with seven 3-pointers and Nick Pavlovic, who had 20 points. Glenbrook North was able to recover and then raced to a 37-26 halftime lead.
"We kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit," Peterson said. "They shot it real well. Once we lost the defensive intensity, they made a big run."
Buffalo Grove began to chip away at the lead. Brunelli, who was scoreless at the half, scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half, including converting 3 free throws with 24.5 seconds to play to tie the game at 57-all.
In overtime, there were four lead changes before Craft put the Bison up for good on his superb 3-point shot that made it 66-65. He then followed with 2 free throws and then a rebound and drive for a basket to make 70-65 and put the game out of reach.
"We were waiting for Cam to get hot and we were waiting for Brunelli to get hot," Peterson said. "And they both did. In barely enough time."