Cole sparks Buffalo Grove past Hersey
Buffalo Grove's Alex Cole could easily qualify for the title of Mr. Consistency. Cole scored 15 points, had 7 rebounds and two steals in the Bison's 75-44 boys basketball win at Hersey's Ken Carter gym Thursday night. It was a typical game for the 6 foot-4 senior.
The win keeps Buffalo Grove in first place in the Mid-Suburban East with a 7-0 record (19-5 overall). The Huskies fell to 7-16 and 2-5 in conference play.
"Nate is one of the most unselfish players I have ever been around," said Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson. "Nate was all-conference and all-area last year. He just keeps on getting better. He's a great teammate and captain. Tonight he gave us the offensive spark in the first quarter. He will do whatever the team needs him to do."
"I try to be consistent in my play," said Cole. "Last year, at times I would struggle. This year I've really worked on being consistent, especially rebounding. I try to focus on areas where I can be effective. If I'm not hitting I look to rebound. If I'm hitting I look for more open spots."
"Nate is everything to us," said Matt Brunelli, who scored 12 points. "He's been on varsity since he was a sophomore. He brings us together. When he gets going we get going. Nate is always up-tempo. He never shows a down emotion."
In a nip-and-tuck first quarter Kam Craft scored 6 points and Cole 5 points, which found the Bison ahead 15-14.
Hersey's Griffin Ginder converted an offensive rebound to give the Huskies their last lead at 18-17 with 7:01 left in the first half.
Cole's initial steal led to his basket that gave Buffalo Grove the lead back at 19-18 at the 6:09 mark.
Tyler Kipley scored off a steal, Tyler Fricke hit for a basket and Kipley hit 2 free throws for a 25-18 lead.
Cole kept the Bison moving in the quarter by scoring 10 points in the frame. BG led 37-29 at the break.
Hersey hung tough with Jack Muglia's 6 second-quarter points during a balanced scoring quarter.
The Huskies pulled to within 37-31 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter when the wheels came off.
"We talked at halftime about applying more pressure on them," said Peterson. "They were a little bigger than us so we wanted to try to keep them from getting the ball inside."
The Bison converted 11 points of a 23-3 run from five Hersey turnovers.
Craft, who led the Bison with 23 points and 8 rebounds, scored 11 points including two slam dunks off steals. Brunelli scored 5 points in the quarter as did Kipley. When all was said and done the Bison led 62-41 at the end of the quarter.
Buffalo Grove had a 31-22 rebounding edge.
"We wanted to be more aggressive in the second half," said Peterson. "Once we started making some shots things started to open up. When we're rolling we're a fun team to watch."
"I take full responsibility," said Hersey coach Austin Scott. "That's how the second half went when we played them last time (a 64-50 loss in December). We weren't prepared and that starts at the top."
Muglia led Hersey with 10 points, Scott Rogowski added eight and James Nolan seven.