Hampshire notches 6th straight win
The rule of thumb in basketball is that if you put a shot off the glass, you've got to call 'bank.'
In his mind, Hampshire center Tyler Watzlawick said he did, but Whip-Purs' coach Bob Barnett didn't hear him.
"I went in — and I joke with him all the time, and I said, 'Nice bank free throw'. (Watzlawick) goes, 'Hey, I'm taking the point.' "
With Watzlawick at the line and Hampshire nursing a 47-44 lead with 42.4 seconds remaining, Crystal Lake Central hoped he'd miss the front end, which he did the two previous times.
Instead, Watzlawick nailed it as Hampshire went 8-for-10 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to seal a come-from-behind 52-47 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division boys basketball win over Crystal Lake Central, in which the Whip-Purs rallied down from as much as 11 in the second quarter to earn their sixth-straight win.
"That was probably the worst first half that I've had a team play," Barnett said. "I don't know if we were intimidated, but give them credit, (we) righted the ship."
Before Hampshire (8-7, 1-1) took the lead for good on Watzlawick's offensive rebound putback on the first possession of the fourth quarter, the Whip-Purs were outscored 14-5 in the first quarter by Central (11-3, 0-1), committed 6 turnovers and shot a dismal 2-for-11 from the field.
"It starts with intensity, we started off really slow," said Watzlawick, who fell a rebound shy of a double-double. "We didn't prepare ourselves before the game to come in at all."
Whip-Purs guard Tyler Crater fueled the comeback with 3 3-pointers in the second quarter, helping Hampshire get within 5 at the half.
"(Central) in the first half, they dictated play and I thought they did a real good job with their defense," Barnett said.
Then Watzlawick dictated things in the third. He used his 6-foot-6 inch frame scoring 6 of his game-high 16 points in the third, including a basket off a back cut late in the quarter to give Hampshire its first lead of the night. The Whips had come a far way from being down 16-5 at one point and 25-20 at the half.
"At halftime I think we decided we were sick of losing," Crater said.
A 9-2 Hampshire run to open the fourth was capped by a Shane Hernandez layup off a pass from Crater with 4:22 left to gave the Whip-Purs a 40-33 lead. That also capped a 20-8 run from halftime as it would set Central's fate.
Crater, who was clutch when Hampshire needed it, scored 16 points and torched the Tigers on four bombs from downtown. He knocked down a huge, left corner 3 off an inbounds pass with 1:50 remaining to give Hampshire a 45-41 lead and Central had realized its fate.
"We didn't have any (intensity) all game," Tigers coach Rich Czeslawski said. "We're just playing poorly right now and we just got to get it fixed."
Hampshire outrebounded Central 28-18 and Brock Ralphs was 6-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter. Watzlawick's 16 points gave him 900 in his Hampshire career.
Chase Cane led Central with 16 points.
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