Boys basketball: South Elgin rallies for comeback victory over Larkin

Updated 1/19/2023 10:37 PM

Trailing Larkin by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, South Elgin's basketball team never stopped believing.

That strong mindset paid off, as the Storm (13-8, 10-1) rallied for a 58-56 Upstate Eight Conference victory over the Royals (9-12, 6-5) Thursday night in South Elgin.


After a pair of free throws from junior guard Jakob Blakley (28 points) put Larkin ahead 56-52 with 1:25 remaining, South Elgin senior guard Elias Cole Williams connected on a 3-pointer from the corner to trim the deficit to 56-55 with 54 seconds left.

"We needed one big-time," said Cole Williams, who scored a game-high 29 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers. "I think it was 'Harv' (teammate Sean Harvey) who dished it out to me. It was a very, very big result."

An even bigger result occurred a few moments later.

Larkin missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and the Storm got the ball down low to Harvey (15 points, 11 rebounds), whose subsequent 3-point play put the home team ahead for the first time since the midway point of the opening quarter, 58-56, with 32 seconds remaining.

After the Storm missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11.8 seconds left, the Royals had one last chance to tie or take the lead.

Harvey, however, had other ideas, as South Elgin's big man blocked Blakley's last-second 15-foot shot in the final seconds, preserving the come-from-behind win.

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"I got a piece of it," said Harvey. "It was a little easier to prepare for that (Blakley's final shot), but he's a great player and anything can happen."

"Blakley is a heck of a player," said Storm coach Phil Church. "The fact that he's got a whole another year -- the guy can flat out score. But you know who is getting the ball at the end of the game, and I've got one thing that not a lot of guys have -- and that's 6-foot-7 (Harvey).

"At the end of the game, 6-7 is hard to shoot over."

Victor Sison and Jake Tiaokhiao each added 7 points for South Elgin, which remains atop the UEC standings with Fenton (10-1).

"We've been through this time and time again," Harvey said of his team's second-half rally. "Just our last game on Tuesday, we were down 7 at Glenbard South and came back and won (43-36), so we knew we were capable of coming back and winning this one."


"That's about as close as you can get to a regional (tournament) finish," said Church. "The last half od the game was about guys persevering through it."

Adrian York had 11 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and a pair of steals, while Javion Stewart added 6 points and 6 rebounds for Larkin, which was outscored 22-12 in the final quarter.

"Being up 10 in the fourth, we've got to find a way to execute down the stretch and press the right buttons as a coaching staff to get that win," said Royals coach Deryn Carter.

"That's twice now in two weeks where I think we did enough things to lose instead of enough things to win. It's disappointing but we'll keep rowing and get better from it."

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