Maine West notches win over Niles West
Maine West had the right formula against Niles West in Des Plaines Tuesday night.
Seniors Jacob Riedl had a strong start, A.J. Ross a strong finish, and Jared Pearson a steady performance in the Warriors' 60-49 win in a Central Suburban League boys basketball crossover.
Pearson led Maine West in scoring with 20 points, Riedl had 13 points to go with 6 rebounds and Ross scored 11 points, 8 of which came in the critical fourth quarter.
"It was a good win for us," said Maine West coach Tom Prokopij. "Any win is a good win in late January and we beat a sectional opponent."
The Warriors improved to 8-12 while the Wolves fell a game below .500 at 11-12.
"We started out slow," said Ross. "But once we started working our defense a little more we were able to get some stops and it helped the offense."
Niles West's Lucas Vidrean scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the first half. Seven points that he scored in the first quarter gave the Wolves a 16-10 lead at quarter's end.
Riedl kept Maine West in the game by scoring 8 points.
An 8-0 run helped the Warriors gain a 19-18 lead on Lucas Glaister's only basket. Maine West clung to a 24-22 halftime lead.
Pearson started heating up in the third quarter connecting on three 3-pointers, one of which gave Maine West the lead for good at 32-30 with 1:38 left in the quarter.
Holding on to a 42-41 lead after the Wolves' Haris Mackic scored with 5:20 left in the game Ross began to come through.
Maine West went on a 10-0 run for a 52-41 lead with 2:38 left in the game.
Ross hit for a 3-pointer, Daniel Prieto echoed that, and Ross hit another long range shot. Riedl finished with 1 of 2 free throws.
"Ross had a shooting slump about midseason around Christmastime," said Prokopij. > The last two games he's shot the ball well. We knew he would break out of it. It was just a matter of time."
The Warriors connected on 10 of 18 from beyond the arc.
"I shoot when I'm open and have the opportunity," said Ross. "Coach loves us shooting 3s. We're a smaller team but we can all shoot."
Riedl has turned summer work and work in practice into earning a starting spot.
"I worked my way into playing time by playing good defense," said Riedl. "Last year I picked up some real good experience. I scored early, Pearson was steady and AJ had big points in the fourth quarter. It was a good formula tonight."
"Riedl is steady for us," said Prokopij. "He's is athletic, he rebounds, he can shoot the ball. He takes on other team's bigger players and looks to get others involved."