Coleman, Waubonsie Valley come through late to beat Oswego
Tyreek Coleman crashed to the baseline as he was fouled on a driving layup, and rubbed his head as he was helped up.
Like Coleman, Waubonsie Valley has taken some hits.
The Warriors lost their last three regular-season games by a combined 82 points. On Wednesday night, Waubonsie Valley watched as a seven-point halftime lead slipped away to Oswego. But Coleman and the Warriors got up.
Coleman, a sophomore point guard, scored the go-ahead basket on a driving layup a minute into the fourth quarter. Eighth-seeded Waubonsie never looked back, recovering to hold 10th-seeded Oswego scoreless for nearly four minutes to start the fourth quarter in an eventual 54-40 win in a Class 4A Waubonsie Valley regional semifinal.
Coleman had 16 points and eight rebounds, Tre Blissett 14 points and Shoi Rathi 10 points for Waubonsie (15-15), which advanced to face Bolingbrook in Friday's regional final. The second-seeded Raiders beat Lincoln-Way Central in overtime in Wednesday's first game.
"Down two, we knew what was on the line," Coleman said. "Our seniors, they came out hot. We handled the ball, limited our turnovers, played some good defense. And we got the win."
Coleman had hit a tying 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the third quarter, but Oswego's Armani Hunter made a baseline jumper on an inbounds play as time expired in the third quarter to give the Panthers a 34-32 lead.
But Coleman, Waubonsie's starting point guard since Day 1 as a sophomore, was cool under the hot postseason pressure.
After Blissett, who scored 10 of his 14 in the fourth quarter, rolled in a tying basket, Coleman gave Waubonsie a 36-34 lead with his driving score. Then Coleman stole the ball, and fed Blissett in transition for a three-point play.
Coleman later assisted Eric Chtilianov's dunk on a lob to cap off a 16-1 run to start the fourth for a 48-35 lead, and was 6 of 7 at the free-throw line.
Nothing new to Waubonsie coach Andrew Schweitzer, who has entrusted Coleman with running the show and playing the point of his 1-2-2 zone.
"Tyreek is, man," Schweitzer said. "It's something we kind of debated but then we saw in open gyms and it was like, you can't ignore it. You expect sophomore mistakes. This kid has become one of our best leaders, he is a basketball junkie. Sky is the limit for that kid."
Schweitzer wasn't surprised to see his streaky team respond to its late-season struggles, and Oswego's surge. Waubonsie led 20-13 at the halftime on the strength of Rathi's nine first-half points, while holding Oswego to 5 of 19 shooting.
"We've been through as roller coaster a season as you can get. We've seen it all," Schweitzer said. "I talked to the kids about how resilient they have been all year. [Hunter] hit that big shot at the end of the third, and it was awesome to see our kids lock back down and turn it up defensively."
Josh Nelson scored 12 points and Dasean Patton had nine points, five rebounds and three blocks for Oswego (15-16).
Back-to-back baskets by Patton started an 11-2 Oswego run out of halftime, and the Panthers went ahead 24-22 on Jayden Riley's two free throws with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
Nelson's third of four threes gave Oswego a 32-29 lead with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
After a 21-point third quarter, though, Oswego's offense went south in the fourth.
Oswego went 9-3 over its last 12 games, including Wednesday. A team that started a freshman, Riley, and a sophomore, Patton, the latter who came on in a big way down the stretch recovered well from a 2-8 start to the season.
"Nobody would have ever thought they would have won 15 games," coach Chad Pohlmann said. "It was honestly one of the most fun seasons I've had coaching because they just kept working and they figured out how to compete and win."
Downers Grove N. 71, DGS 41:
Owen Thulin is accustomed to his place in the background.
The Downers Grove North junior guard hails from a large family of athletic siblings, with three brothers and a sister. Finding his own spot in his highly successful family is not an easy task.
One of his older brothers, senior guard Ethan Thulin, is committed to play football for Dayton. Owen Thulin showed he also belongs among the best in the area on the football field after racking up 44 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and a fumble recovery this season.
The 5-foot-11 Thulin is starting to make his mark in basketball, too.
"I'm kind in the middle in my family," Owen Thulin said. "I've learned a lot from both of my older brothers, and my younger brother, mostly about athletics. It helps me a lot in competitions and getting each other better."
On Wednesday, Owen Thulin drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes, including the first points of the game, to finish with six points to spark the fourth-seeded Trojans to a resounding 71-41 win over 13th-seed Downers Grove South in a Downers Grove North Regional semifinal.
The Trojans (27-3), who have lost three games by a combined nine points this season, canned 14 3-pointers to move ahead to play Provison East, a 52-50 winner over Morton Friday at 7 p.m.
Junior sharpshooter Jack Stanton had a prolific shooting night, drilling seven 3-pointers to end with a game-high 23 points. Stanton thrilled the mostly pro-Trojans crowd with his deadeye shooting, spoiling any chance for the Mustangs to build any momentum to mount a comeback.
Maxwell Haack knocked down threes 3s for 16 points, and Jacob Bozeman added nine points.
"It's fun, especially having regionals out here," Stanton said. "Last year we had to travel far, so coming out here and getting revenge was good. I expected us to shoot well. We shoot a lot of 3s and work on our conditioning."
With 6-8 junior center Jake Riemer sidelined for the rest of the season with a left foot injury, the Trojans avoided an upset to their neighborhood rivals by hitting their 3-pointers. In the first half, Owen Thulin made a pair of 3s, and Stanton added three 3s, including a top-of-the-key trey at the second-quarter buzzer.
Owen Thulin's shooting ignited the parade of 3s, but his penetration also factored in the blowout. He repeatedly attacked the Mustangs' defense, hitting George Wolkow with a bounce pass that led to a reverse layup that padded the lead to 31-12.
"I'm starting to feel really good, and we have a lot of guys back from last season," Thulin said. "I've been playing with these guys my whole life and we have good chemistry."
-- Bobby Narang