Proviso East snaps Hinsdale South's winning streak
Aaron Tims admitted to a feeling of déjà vu.
As Hinsdale South mounted a furious fourth-quarter rally Saturday against Proviso East, he thought of the teams' first meeting.
He did again as Robert Durkin rose for a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds.
"I was like, maybe we'll do it again," Tims said. "We got them in overtime last time. But I feel we just had a bad start. We kept falling behind."
History indeed only repeated itself so far. Hinsdale South stormed back once again, from 13 points down in the fourth quarter, but Proviso East held on for a 64-62 win, snapping the Hornets' 15-game winning streak and momentarily denying them an outright West Suburban Gold championship.
Proviso East's Jaloni Johnson got the ball in a mad scramble after his missed baseline jumper and swished one from the free-throw line with 3.6 seconds left.
Hinsdale South (26-3, 10-1) had one last chance, but Robert Durkin's heave from well past the 3-point line was short.
In the teams' first meeting Billy Durkin hit a buzzer-beater in regulation of Hinsdale South's 77-70 overtime win at Proviso East, a game in which the Hornets trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter.
"It was almost the exact game," Hornets coach Brent Moore said. "We were way too passive and didn't handle their pressure well. It was a tough one. The good thing is we put ourselves in a good position in conference with a two-game lead. This would have been nice, but we took care of business a lot of nights."
Tims had 19 points and 8 rebounds, Ruzicka 13 points and Billy Durkin 12 points for Hinsdale South, which has already broken the program win record and sewn up a share of the Gold. A fourth senior starter, Daeshawn Amy, scored 10 points. Amy's 3-pointer with 2:06 tied it 59-59, and he split two free throws with 1:38 left to give the Hornets their first lead since the game's first few minutes.
But a double whammy of turnovers and rebounds did in the Hornets. Hinsdale South turned it over 21 times and Proviso East had nine offensive rebounds in the first half.
Terrence Thomas scored a game-high 26 points for the Pirates (15-10, 6-4), who led 19-11 after a quarter and 33-24 at halftime. Hinsdale South's 10-0 run out of halftime surged the Hornets ahead 34-33, but Proviso East came right back with a 12-0 run.
After Amy's go-ahead free throw, Proviso East's Michael Osborne came right back and buried a deep 3.
"(The Hornets) locked up the conference and we really didn't want anybody celebrating tonight," Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce said. "They deserved it, rightfully earned it. I feel like these past two weeks we've refocused."
Hinsdale South, which last lost Dec. 31, will refocus to go to Addison Trail on Friday with a second chance at securing the outright Gold title. The Hornets entered the night two games up on Morton.
"We told the guys it's not the worst thing to happen to us, to lose a game like this," Moore said. "We're going to have to beat a couple teams like that in the postseason. This doesn't taint our great season whatsoever. Proviso East played really well. They pressured better than I've seen, rebounded and hit some big 3s. That's what broke our back."
Tims, for his part would like at least one more game on his home court.
Hinsdale South is a sectional host in Class 3A in a sectional with the likes of Bogan, Benet and Riverside-Brookfield.
"Last year we had 16 losses and this year we have three. That's way different," Tims said. "We started off the season strong and we've just kept building.
"We need another one on our home court."