Naperville Central gets it together, stops Glenbard East

  • Glenbard East's LaDonis Rogers, left, battles Naperville Central's Kyle Baskin in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's LaDonis Rogers, left, battles Naperville Central's Kyle Baskin in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Deon Cook, left, battles Naperville Central's Matthew Murphy in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Deon Cook, left, battles Naperville Central's Matthew Murphy in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty nails a three-pointer in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty nails a three-pointer in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty moves past Glenbard East's Jack Rivas in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty moves past Glenbard East's Jack Rivas in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Joe Hamilton, right, challenges Naperville Central's Matthew Murphy in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Joe Hamilton, right, challenges Naperville Central's Matthew Murphy in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's LaDonis Rogers moves with the ball against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's LaDonis Rogers moves with the ball against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Deon Cook, left, howls with delight after teammate Daron Hall, on ground, drew a foul on a play against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Deon Cook, left, howls with delight after teammate Daron Hall, on ground, drew a foul on a play against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Chris Conway moves to the hoop against Glenbard East in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Naperville Central's Chris Conway moves to the hoop against Glenbard East in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Kyle Baskin moves the ball against Glenbard East in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Naperville Central's Kyle Baskin moves the ball against Glenbard East in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Deon Cook nails a three-pointer against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Deon Cook nails a three-pointer against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Deon Cook celebrates after nailing a three-pointer against Naperville Central's in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Deon Cook celebrates after nailing a three-pointer against Naperville Central's in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Daron Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Daron Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Daron Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Daron Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's DaRon Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's DaRon Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Daron Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Daron Hall plays against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard East's Dion Harris takes an outside shot against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.

    Glenbard East's Dion Harris takes an outside shot against Naperville Central in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer Naperville Central's fans and players celebrate a win over

  • Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer Naperville Central's fans and players celebrate a win o

 
 
Updated 3/11/2020 11:03 PM

Well, that was a kick in the pants.

Naperville Central looked disheveled trailing Glenbard East by 12 points at halftime. Then came Redhawks coach Pete Kramer's halftime "heart-to-heart," a zone defense, timely 3-pointers and a large dose of senior leadership.

 

The combination catapulted Naperville Central to a 62-58 win in Wednesday's Class 4A Addison Trail sectional semifinal, ending the hall of fame head coaching career of the Rams' Scott Miller.

"We didn't want to go down like that, we didn't want to let it turn into a blowout," said Naperville Central's Cam Dougherty, whose 34 points tied his personal high from Feb. 19 at Lincoln-Way West. He kept his team in it early with 15 first-quarter points on 6-of-6 shooting and scored 14 in the fourth quarter, converting two three-point plays and going 8 for 8 from the foul line.

"We got chewed out a little bit in the halftime talk," said the 6-foot-6 senior. "We made the adjustments, we went 2-3. Offensively, we just kind of calmed down a little bit. We knew we were going to get looks and we just had to start making them and we did start making them."

No. 3 seed Naperville Central (23-10) will seek its first sectional title since 2005 against top-seeded Lake Park at Friday's Addison Trail sectional final.

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"I'm just so proud of this team because it didn't look good going into half and I thought the kids just really turned it around," Kramer said.

No. 2 Glenbard East (22-10) led 35-23 at halftime behind guards DaRon Hall and Deon Cook and strong minutes from forwards Jack Rivas and LaDonus Rogers.

Glenbard East's DaRon Hall, left, guards Naperville Central's Michael Wood in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.
Glenbard East's DaRon Hall, left, guards Naperville Central's Michael Wood in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. - Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

Spurred by a pair of 3s from Matt Murphy and determined, 6-10 Chris Conway, Naperville Central outscored the Rams 20-11 in the third quarter. The Redhawks opened the fourth on a 13-2 run for a 56-48 lead with 3:24 left to play.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"At halftime I guess our team kind of slowed down and the other team went fast and we couldn't keep up with them," said Cook, who scored 17 points to 18 for Hall and 15 for Rivas.

Scoring 4 first-half points on 2-of-8 shooting, Conway finished with 13 by making all 4 second-half shots, including a 3 from the top of the key.

"(Kramer) was kind of telling us at halftime, me especially, I wasn't playing the way I can or I'm able to. I kind of took that personal in the second half," said the Oakland (Michigan) recruit.

"They were definitely initiating, we weren't," Murphy said. "I think that's the thing that changed in the second half."

Using a Kyle Baskin steal and four Dougherty free throws Naperville Central led 60-53 with 56.9 seconds left. As they did against Willowbrook and Batavia to win a regional, the Rams stormed back. Fouled making a basket that had the Rams within 60-58 with 4.3 seconds left, Rivas intentionally missed a free throw, but Dougherty got the ball, was fouled and made two free throws to cinch it.

Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty nails a three-pointer in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night.
Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty nails a three-pointer in Class 4A Addison Trail boys basketball sectional semifinal action Wednesday night. - Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

It left an emotional Miller with a career record of 358-308 in 24 seasons, 21 at Glenbard East.

"They epitomized Glenbard East basketball," he said of his team. "They played great defense, they played hard, they played together, cared about each other and they listened to me. They had to put up with all the nonsense with people trying to be nice to me. Just a great group of guys. I just told them, I'm going to remember them forever."

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