Betevis sparks Bartlett in semifinal win
By this time of the sports season, Bartlett senior George Betevis would be gearing up for the baseball season.
A center fielder, Betevis showed off his strong arm on two occasions in Thursday's game against Streamwood.
The only problem, though, it came on the basketball court. Betevis sailed two passes well out of bounds for turnovers, but managed to atone for his mistakes by taking two momentum-building defensive charges.
Betevis also drilled a pivotal fourth-quarter corner 3-pointer to ignite a game-turning run, finishing with 9 points in a 61-53 win over the Sabres in an Upstate Eight Conference tournament semifinal.
The Hawks (11-4) square off against East Aurora in Saturday's 4 p.m. title game at Bartlett.
"Sometimes the center fielder comes out in me," Betevis said, laughing. "Those turnovers were bad, but I was able to come back. That last 3-pointer we broke the pressure and I got a good pass from my teammate."
Bartlett freshman guard Kelton McEwen had a team-best 13 points, including a 3-point play to pad the lead to 54-47 with 3:58 remaining. Ian Smith made two big 3s in the fourth to end with 10 points, and 7-foot-2 junior center Conrad Luczynski added 10 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists.
"It was another one of those grind-it-out-physical affairs," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "I thought we did a good job. Conrad did a good job on defense. George knows the game, and knows what we're looking out of him.
"He had a nice offensive game, knocking down shots and making passes, but his defense on (Kyle Maybrun) was great."
Betevis, a second-year varsity starter, held Streamwood senior guard Kyle Maybrun to 6 points. Maybrun, a Loras College recruit, did not score in the second half.
"I know (Maybrun) likes to get downhill, so I knew if I could move my feet and get in front of him, I could get a charge or two," Betevis said. "I know they tried to post him up early in the game, so I tried to not let him get close to the basket or get comfortable."
Streamwood (8-8) stayed with the Hawks for the first three-plus quarters due to a big game from Darrel Luce. The 6-4 senior guard canned five 3-pointers for a career-high 21 points. Luce, a cornerback on the football team, attacked Luczynski on the offensive end with long 3s and drives to the basket to help the Sabres offset the absence of point guard Zach Marquez.
"I could've shot way better, and missed way too many wide open opportunities," Luce said.