Hampshire hangs on to down Hononegah for first win
The sweet taste of victory.
After not winning a game during the COVID shortened spring season, Hampshire started the 2021-2022 season with an 0-3 mark.
The losing is finally over for the Whip-Purs' boys basketball team and coach Mike Featherly.
Connecting on 8-of-11 from 3-point range for 73% in the first half and leading Hononegah 35-21 after 16 minutes, the Whip-Purs held off a valiant Indian fourth quarter rally. Paced by 2 late free throws by Joey Costable, the Whips were able to hold on for a 54-51 win over the Indians in the final round of the Tom Mueller Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by Crystal Lake Central Saturday afternoon.
"We had spurts in the first three games where we played well." said Featherly. "We couldn't put four quarters together. Today we played a complete game. These kids work incredibly hard. We have 16 kids who can play and it is hard to find playing time for them. The kids found a way to win."
Gavin Khounnoraj and Jeffrey Cruickshank each buried a pair of 3s in the first half as the Whip-Purs opened up a 14-point advantage. Overall in the first half, Hampshire made 12-of-20 shots and committed only 6 turnovers.
Hononegah whittled away at Hampshire's double-digit halftime lead and got to within 48-45 on a 3 by Owen Hart with 1:55 left in the game.
A 3-pointer by Sam Ptak gave the Whip-Purs a 51-45 lead with 1:22 remaining. Hampshire, which made 4-of-16 free throws in the final 8 minutes, got 2 free throws with 1.3 seconds left from Costable to seal the win.
Costable led Hampshire with 12 points.
"We had 100 percent effort today," said Costable. "We wanted to win every quarter. The coaches have encouraged us and stayed positive. We have momentum going into (Fox Valley) conference play."
Cruickshank and Khounnoraj added 8 points each for the winners while Ptak, with a pair of treys, and Adam Ugochukwu (8 rebounds) scored 6 each.
Hononegah was led by Dominic Commisso with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Hart and Isaiah Houi added 10 points each.