Downers Grove North knocks off Lyons in OT
Downers Grove North's Jack Mielke broke out his whole arsenal of moves on Tuesday night.
With his season and prep career nearing the final days, the senior forward showed Lyons why he's considered one of the top players in the Chicagoland area.
Mielke scored a game-high 25 points to go with seven rebounds in a 57-45 overtime road win in West Suburban Silver play.
Lyons junior guard Tavari Johnson showed his vast potential with 22 points, including a memorable scoring surge early in the third quarter.
The 6-foot-5 Mielke, a Southern Indiana recruit, buried three 3-pointers and scored two points in overtime to keep the Trojans in the thick of the conference race.
"That's all been part of my journey as a player, learning to be more aggressive," Mielke said. "The first couple of possessions tonight both teams combined to miss a lot of shots, so I saw that and I don't know if something clicked in my head.
"I knew I had to try and go do something at least, so I hit a couple and once I did that, my teammates knew to look for me and get me where I like to get the ball."
The Trojans (11-1, 4-1) face league leader Glenbard West (13-0, 4-0) for a share of the conference championship on Friday -- one day before the conclusion of the conference tournament.
"Our guys are looking forward to Friday's game," Downers Grove North coach James Thomas said.
If not for Mielke's shooting display, the Trojans would've succumbed to a late-charging rally by the Lions (8-6, 1-4).
Mielke opened the scoring for the Trojans by hitting a 3-pointer, a 15-foot turnaround on the baseline and a 16-foot fadeaway, one-foot --- think Dirk Nowitzki -- fadeaway jumper. He scored 10 of the Trojans' first 14 points.
Mielke said he took pride in his one-legged fadeaway, which is now a staple shot of many NBA players.
"Ever since the Hinsdale game, I've gotten into that shot more because I'm used to getting charge calls going into the post against smaller guys," Mielke said. "That shot, being able to raise up and shoot over guys is helpful, because I can hit that shot pretty consistently. I've been finding that shot for myself lately, and it's starting to go in."
Thomas said Mielke always has the green light to shoot.
"I let Jack be Jack," Thomas said. "We try and tell him to get to the spaces on the floor he feels comfortable. But we feel like we have great depth, we feel anyone can step up for us. Someone always continues to step up for us."
Although Mielke lit up the scoring column, the Trojans staved off a Lyons comeback with a collective effort. Five players scored at least five points, with Nate Demos (eight points), Elijah Carter (seven points) and Matt Schellbach (six points) leading the way. The Trojans held the Lions scoreless in the final minute of regulation and the opening 3:12 of overtime. Demos' 3-pointer started the overtime scoring surge for the Trojans.
Lyons coach Tom Sloan praised his seven seniors, while noting the potential of Johnson. The speedy guard relied on his athleticism and dribbling to cause problems for the Trojans.
"Tavari is very skilled with the ball, and unselfish and aggressive and can make shots and plays for his teammates," Sloan said. "He's very team-oriented, and we're lucky to have him. Unfortunately, we needed one more play that would've turned the tide in our favor in regulation because this would've been a great win for the seniors."