IC Catholic sees season come to an end
IC Catholic Prep's hopes to return to the Class 2A sectionals just came up a bit short in Niles on Friday.
The Knights watched as host Northridge Prep claimed the boys basketball regional title with a 60-52 win.
Northridge Prep (27-6) canned 11 of 14 free throws down the stretch in the final quarter to hold off IC Catholic Prep. Northridge, which won its first regional since 2010, will meet Rockford Lutheran on Wednesday at the Genoa-Kingston sectional.
"It was an awesome high school basketball game," IC Catholic coach T.J. Tyrrell said. "It was a game of some runs and credit Northridge. They made the run at the end."
Playing before a packed and very loud house in Niles, both teams stood toe to toe for just over three quarters.
IC Catholic (17-16) took its final lead when Dominic Gaudio knocked down a 3-pointer to put his team ahead 43-40 with 7:02 to play.
"We felt like we were in a good place there," Tyrrell said. "But that was our last lead."
Northridge rattled off seven unanswered points to grab a 47-43 lead with 5:58 left. IC Catholic responded when Zach Jordan knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the game to pull his team to within 47-46 with 4:41 left.
That's as close as IC Catholic got.
Northridge got a basket and then went on to convert its free throws to outscore ICCP 13-6 to post the victory.
IC Catholic wasn't just done in by the hot free-throw shooting by Northridge. It was IC Catholic's inability to take care of the ball, turning the ball over 19 times.
"It looked like we get a little tired and little lazy," Tyrrell said. "Northridge did a good job of reading the passing lanes and overplaying a little bit. Instead of us meeting the pass, they were able to get some steals."
Still, it was a great season for the Knights.
"I love the heart the guys gave," Tyrrell said. "I am thankful for the group of seniors I had this year. This is always real tough and it usually sinks in in a couple of days when reality sets in and you don't get to go to the gym and not coach the seniors again."
Jordan, a three-year starter and one of those seniors, was the Knights' leading scorer this season and said he will miss his teammates.
"It was tough loss, but that is a good Northridge team," said Jordan, who finished with 17 points.
"I love this group of guys. I couldn't ask for anything else. I can't wait to see what they do next year."
Danny Cronin, who played on the football team and then followed by playing hoops, also is looking forward to the future for the underclassmen.
"It was a tough one for the seniors for sure," said Cronin, who finished with 10 points. "We have some great juniors and sophomores, that's for sure. We will be back."
Junior Michael Hilgart scored 8 points for IC Catholic. John Hilgart had 5 points.
Northridge was led by Temi Creppy, who had 15 points and knocked down 13 of 14 free throws and all 8 of his in the fourth quarter. Andrew Brockmeier had 14 points and Kevin Thursby has 13 points.