Hersey downs Buffalo Grove to earn 4th straight win
After losing to Hersey in a non-divisional matchup last week that was a last-second replacement for a postponed divisional contest against Prospect, the question for Buffalo Grove boys basketball coach Keith Petersen was simple. Could his team, entering its second matchup with the Huskies in 5 days with this one counting in the East standings, learn from that game as it tried to put an Arctic chill on Hersey's three-game win streak.
The answer was that the visiting team withstood a valiant effort to obtain a 70-66 win that gave Hersey (4-1, 2-0) its fourth straight triumph.
"Give Buffalo Grove a lot of credit," Huskies coach Austin Scott said. "There's no quit in that group. They can score fast and they're dangerous. We played eight seniors tonight and they showed a lot composure down the stretch. We relinquished the lead and they were able to toughen up and get that back. I was really proud of them."
The big reason for Scott's pride was the Huskies' late rally from an 11-0 Bison run that saw an 8-point lead (59-51) turn into a 62-59 deficit to the hosts on a Steph Harris drive with 2:31 left.
From there it was the Hersey senior duo of Ben Randall and Ethan Roberts that got the Huskies back in operation as a Randall putback followed by a Roberts layup had the visitors up 65-62 with 1:25 left.
After a 3-pointer by BG junior Kam Craft (25 points, 7 boards and 3 assists) evened up things, Roberts found the hoop with a drive down the lane with 36 ticks remaining that gave the Huskies the lead for good. Following a Roberts free throw that gave him his game-high 34th point, Buffalo Grove (1-3, 1-2) saw a game-tying trey try from the right side of the arc clank off the rim. Randall then added his 19th and 20th points for the contest at the charity stripe with a second left to seal the deal.
The 6-foot-7 Randall, who added 10 rebounds to the game-winning effort, credited his fellow senior teammates' varsity experience as a counter to not having had spring and summer team workouts and games lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Since us seniors have been together last year, we all have trust in each other to take shots in certain situations. We have trust in each other on the helpline in defense when there's good players like Craft and those guys. It's all about trust."
Harris added 13 points for the Bison.