Downers Grove North edges York for 6th straight win
West Suburban Silver victories aren't often pretty.
That doesn't mean they count any less.
Overcoming a poor shooting night on a back-to-back, Downers Grove North relied on its customary strong defense to hold off York 41-40 Friday.
The Trojans (6-1, 2-0), who were coming off a 58-44 win over Hinsdale Central 24 hours earlier to open up the conference slate, made just one field goal in the fourth quarter. But three free throws by Maxwell Haack in the closing 20 seconds were enough to give the home team their sixth straight victory.
"It came down to free throws, getting stops," said junior Jack Stanton, who knocked down that lone fourth quarter shot, a 3-pointer which gave DGN a 38-33 lead with 2:33 left. "We obviously didn't have a lot of time to game plan for their zone. But it's a big win, it's a conference game, the first home conference game. And it sets the tone for what conference will be like.
"We are not a star-built team, we don't revolve around one guy. It could be a different guy every night. We have multiple weapons, we can all shoot it and drive it."
Stanton finished with nine points, which included a pair of 3-pointers during a 17-0 second quarter run which helped the Trojans overcome a slow start.
Holding the Dukes to a single point in that period while forcing nine turnovers, the Trojans turned a 15-7 deficit into a 24-16 edge at halftime.
"Definitely our defense," said senior Finn Kramper, when asked about what changed in the second quarter. "We were able to lock down and stay in our gaps. We also starting hitting our shots and moving the ball a little bit more.
"We go all out all the time. It takes a lot of effort (on defense). We stay true to ourselves. We trust each other and we are always talking and communicating, making sure we are on the same page."
Kramper finished with a team-high 11 points. Jacob Bozeman had six points and Owen Thulin and Haack tallied three steals apiece.
"We hung in there," Downers Grove North coach Jim Thomas said. "After a hard-fought victory last night, we have a back-to-back against a coach who you know will have his team prepared. So we had kind of game-planned it in that it would come down to one possession.
"The ball bounced the right way for us tonight."
York (3-5, 0-2) used an 8-0 spurt of its own to pull within two halfway through the final quarter. A.J. Levine led all scorers with 16 points while Brendan Molis had eight points and six rebounds. Logan Rice scored all six of his points in the second half, including a 3-point play with 2:03 remaining to close the gap to 38-36.