Oswego East downs Hinsdale Central with 4th quarter comeback
Oswego East enjoyed quite the fun run midway through the fourth quarter to run past Hinsdale Central, 55-52, during Tuesday's Hoops for Healing Tournament game at Naperville North.
The Wolves scored 10 straight points as five players made baskets to turn a 45-41 deficit with 5:02 remaining in the fourth quarter into a 51-45 lead with just 3:29 left in the game.
"We knew this was going to be a tough game and it was a game of 32 minutes," Wolves coach Ryan Velasquez said. "We never put our head down. We were always fighting for possessions. I liked our demeanor in that fourth quarter. I felt like we were able to defend a little bit better."
Hinsdale Central (1-1) was riding the hot touch of Emerson Eck in the second half as the junior buried three three-pointers in the first three minutes of the third quarter. It helped the Red Devils build a 35-27 lead midway through the quarter.
Oswego East (2-0) never trailed by more than those eight points, chipping it away until it became a back and forth game. Then, it turned up its defense while getting multiple big baskets from different players.
Patrick Robinson (15 points) and Darren Oregon (10 points, seven rebounds) had layups and DeVon Oregon (nine points) and Joey Patti (six points) drilled three-pointers before Mekhi Lowery (14 points, nine rebounds, three blocks) picked the prime time for his third steal of the game, converting the layup the other way to complete a 10-0 run.
"Late in the game we always make sure we turn up the intensity, especially defensively," Lowery said. "I love seeing my teammates score. It makes it 100 times more enjoyable when everybody scores and it's a run and there's energy. I love that."
He certainly loves how the Wolves finished off the Red Devils.
"We felt strong and that's thanks to Coach Mo (Patrick Molinari) in practice, we do a lot of running, a lot of conditioning," Lowery said. "So we like to run and get on the floor so we practice that a lot. And our defense is standing out. We got to keep doing that and offensively it all comes together and flows nicely."
Part of the undoing of the Red Devils during the 10-0 run was turnovers. They had 15 for the game.
"I thought we got out of character in the fourth quarter," Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre said. "We started dribbling around too much and turned it over four straight times and that was the difference. We got tight. We didn't really take care of the ball."
Eck led the Red Devils with 17 points. Jake Quast had 13 and Ben Oosterbaan added 12. Eck also had eight rebounds and Quast added four assists.
The game featured some late drama as the officials put 0.6 seconds on the clock after Eck scored to pull Hinsdale Central to within 55-52.
The ensuing baseball-style inbounds pass from Ryan Johnson was intercepted but the attempt of a basketball version of a Hail Mary proved to be elusive for the Red Devils.