Maine West takes down Hersey in OT
Maine West has had a difficult time this season playing with any consistency. On Tuesday in Arlington Heights, those same issues crept up again.
This time, however, they didn't completely haunt the Warriors.
Maine West shook off a tough three-minute span in the third quarter and rallied to upend Hersey 70-67 in overtime in a nonconference boys basketball game.
"That has been the story of us this year," Maine West coach Tom Prokopij said. "We play good teams and turnovers slow us down. But our kids have stuck with it all year."
Maine West (7-11) knocked down eight 3-pointers in the first half to lead 33-31 at the break. The Warriors then took a 35-31 lead early in the third quarter when the turnover bug gripped them.
Hersey's pressure defense, led by guard Scott Rogowski, forced five quick turnovers. That enabled the Huskies to run off 10 unanswered points to lead 41-35 on a basket by Griffin Ginder.
Hersey (7-13) continued its pressure and forced Maine West into bad possessions. The Huskies appeared to be in control with a 50-40 lead after three quarters.
Maine West scored two quick baskets to begin the fourth quarter to make it 50-45 and things began to change from there.
"We stopped turning the ball over," Prokopij said. "We got two quick baskets and we are down five and the next thing you know there is more life in us."
After a basket by Ginder made it 52-45, Maine West really applied their pressure.
"We just knew we had to get some stops," Maine West's Lucas Glaister said. "We were really attacking the baskets and trying to get some points out of it."
That strategy was successful as the Warriors crashed the offensive boards hard and kept possessions alive. Maine West also forced 5 turnovers and went on an 8-0 run to lead 53-52 with 4:47 to play on a free throw by Dan Kentgen.
There were three lead changes and two ties from there until Maine West led 61-59 on a free throw by Glaister with 28.6 seconds left. Hersey was able to send the game into overtime at 61-61 thanks to a running layup by Ginder with 1.9 seconds left.
In overtime, Maine West was able to get to the free-throw line to convert 4 of 6 free throws to lead 65-63. The Warriors also took advantage of a Hersey lineup that had three of its starters foul out. They were then able to pull away on baskets by Jacob riesling and Sean Collins.
"We have lost a lot of heartbreakers," said Kentgen, who led the Warriors with 18 points, including four 3-pointers.
"We wanted to make sure we pulled one of these out and get us going. We all believe in each other and believe in this team."
Jared Pearson had 16 points for Maine West. Riedl had 11 points and 9 rebounds, Glaister 10 points and 7 rebounds and Collins had 7 points.
Ginder led Hersey with 18 points. Brent Wolff had 17 points, including four 3-pointers, Ben Randall had 10 points, James Nolan 8 points and Rogowski had 7 points.
"They were hungry to win tonight," Hersey coach Austin Scott said. "A lot of our different guys got to show different parts of themselves tonight and that is a good thing."