Saints honor Hardy on special night at St. Charles East

  • Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, waves to the crowd during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment.

    Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, waves to the crowd during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Justin Hardy watches a montage of his story with his parents, Bob and Karen, and siblings, Jackie and Nathan.

    Justin Hardy watches a montage of his story with his parents, Bob and Karen, and siblings, Jackie and Nathan. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, addresses the crowd during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment.

    Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, addresses the crowd during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, high-fives current East players during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment.

    Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, high-fives current East players during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, shares a laugh with his former East coaches including Head Coach Pat Woods (far right) during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment.

    Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, shares a laugh with his former East coaches including Head Coach Pat Woods (far right) during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, hugs his dad, Bob, during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment.

    Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, hugs his dad, Bob, during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, is presented with the Jodie Harrison Lifetime Achievement Award from Kane County Chief Judge Clint Hull during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment.

    Justin Hardy, a former St. Charles East four-year varsity basketball player and current player for Washington University in St. Louis, is presented with the Jodie Harrison Lifetime Achievement Award from Kane County Chief Judge Clint Hull during a Hoops for Hope game in Hardy's honor against Geneva in St. Charles Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Hardy was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last April and continues to play basketball while undergoing treatment. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • St. Charles East's Rahul Gor (3) grabs a rebound from Geneva's Ryan Huskey during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    St. Charles East's Rahul Gor (3) grabs a rebound from Geneva's Ryan Huskey during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • St. Charles East's Steven Call (12) puts a shot up during a home game against Geneva on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    St. Charles East's Steven Call (12) puts a shot up during a home game against Geneva on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • St. Charles East's Michael Weaver shoots the ball during a home game against Geneva on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    St. Charles East's Michael Weaver shoots the ball during a home game against Geneva on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Geneva's Ryan Huskey holds onto the ball away from St. Charles East's Corey Breiten during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    Geneva's Ryan Huskey holds onto the ball away from St. Charles East's Corey Breiten during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • St. Charles East's Eddie Herrera shoots the ball during a home game against Geneva on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    St. Charles East's Eddie Herrera shoots the ball during a home game against Geneva on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Geneva's Max Jensen (22) maneuvers around a pair of St. Charles East defenders during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    Geneva's Max Jensen (22) maneuvers around a pair of St. Charles East defenders during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Geneva's Michael Lawrence shoots the ball during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    Geneva's Michael Lawrence shoots the ball during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Geneva's Jimmy Rasmussen shoots the ball during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    Geneva's Jimmy Rasmussen shoots the ball during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

  • Geneva's Ryan Huskey shoots the ball during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

    Geneva's Ryan Huskey shoots the ball during a game at St. Charles East on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

 
 
Updated 2/10/2022 7:12 AM

The possibility crossed Pat Woods' mind.

St. Charles East's boys basketball coach has seen a buzzer-beater or two from the sideline in his time.

 

After all, the gentleman responsible for at least two of them during his high school career, Justin Hardy, was alongside Woods Tuesday. Hardy, a former Saints star and current Washington University-St. Louis athlete, is battling Stage IV stomach cancer and chemotherapy treatment while continuing his playing career. He was in St. Charles Tuesday as Geneva defeated St. Charles East 59-56, but the game meant much more than the final score.

The evening served as a Hoops for Hope event in honor of Hardy. At halftime, Hardy was presented with his induction into the St. Charles East athletics Hall of Fame. Hardy addressed the crowd before the game and multiple tributes ensued throughout the evening. His collegiate coach, Pat Juckem, and teammates sat in the crowd.

An ESPN camera crew followed his every move from beginning until the end.

"I was hoping for a Hardy moment at the end there," Woods said. "I thought we had one. That would've been picture-perfect."

Saints guard Eddie Herrera hit a three-pointer with 8.9 seconds left to close the Vikings' lead to two. The ensuing Geneva possession, Geneva's Chris Suger saved a near-turnover with 5.3 seconds left, prompting a Saints foul to send Ryan Huskey to the line.

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Huskey split two free throws to push the lead to three. A Saints heave at the buzzer fell short.

"Unfortunately, that didn't happen," Woods continued. "We talk about it all the time: It's family. We would do this for any of our guys. Justin is a special kid. He's done a lot of great things and I look forward to the years to come to see what else he accomplishes. The list is growing every day."

For Vikings junior Jimmy Rasmussen, who scored 16 points and played critical defense for the majority of the game, experiencing the vivacious crowd "was amazing."

Geneva (14-13, 3-9) also earned standout performances from Mick Lawrence (15 points, five rebounds) and Huskey (11 points).

The Vikings overcame some recent troubles closing games in the fourth quarter, losing a pair of games to St. Charles North and Batavia within the last week by a combined three points.

The Saints (2-22, 1-11) were paced by Rahul Gor's 13 points and nine rebounds, while Steven Call had nine points and two rebounds. Kelton McCaslin had seven points.

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