Schaumburg survives Larkin's upset bid in OT
Schaumburg's big trio helped rescue the Saxons Saturday.
Vaurice Patterson knocked down a huge 3-pointer to help send the game to overtime. Then Chris Hodges and Jared Schoo combined for 13 points in the extra period as Schaumburg survived a huge upset bid from Larkin, 67-59, in a nonconference boys basketball game at Schaumburg.
"I though we were flat and they (Larkin) will make you pay," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "That was a hard-fought battle. Not every game is going to be pretty. And when you find ways to win ugly and consistently win, that is a sign of maturity."
Larkin (5-17), which starts a freshman, three sophomores and a junior, showed it is maturing quite nicely as well.
The Royals fell behind by 7 points early. Larkin, which had lost a tough game on Friday to Bartlett, could have easily cashed in its chips.
The Royals showed some resolve. They were able to climb back into the game thanks to the play of Damari Wheeler-Thomas. The sophomore knocked down five 3-pointers to finish with 26 points.
"I am super proud," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "This is what we wanted to get out of this noncon game. In February, there are not a lot of teams that want to come into Schaumburg. We are young and the kids are learning."
Larkin took a 31-30 lead on a 3 from Wheeler-Thomas midway through the third quarter. The teams then had 11 lead changes and ties before the Royals' Fernando Perez Jr. (14 points) put them up 48-46 with 3:05 to play.
Larkin was able to maintain the lead and was ahead 52-49 when Patterson drilled a 3-pointer from the corner with 26 seconds left to tie the game at 52.
"I missed the first one and I knew I had to come up with the second one" said Patterson, who finished with 13 points. "The play wasn't designed for me, but it was a big play."
Larkin had a chance to win the game in regulation, but missed a shot with three seconds to play.
Overtime belonged to Hodges, Schoo and the Saxons.
Hodges scored the first 5 points for Schaumburg (20-3). The junior got himself down on the block and demanded the ball from his teammates and helped them to a 57-54 lead.
After a basket from Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (12 points) cut the lead to one, Schoo had a free throw and Hodges had a huge dunk as the Saxons opened up a 60-56 lead.
"I was just taking the ball up with confidence," said Hodges, who had 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. "It was crunchtime. You just have to demand the ball. In overtime and time running down, you just have to be demanding."
Larkin got back to within two on a layup by Wheeler-Thomas with 2:09 left that made it 60-58.
Schoo, who would finish with 21 points for the second game in row, ended Larkin's comeback. He knocked down 7 free throws down the stretch to give the Saxons their second consecutive 20-win season.
"We have to come into every game with the same mentality and do the things we are good at," Schoo said. "We got caught and luckily when it came down to the end, we were able to turn it on."