Buffalo Grove downs Niles West
Buffalo Grove's Luke Potnick made 7-of-8 free throws in overtime to lift the Bison boys basketball team to an 81-77 victory over visiting Niles West on Saturday.
That was only a portion of the work done by Potnick.
The senior scored 36 points (15-of-17 free throws) in the game, including his 1,000th career point which came in the second quarter.
"Luke has a had a few injuries in his career," said Bison coach Ryan O'Connor of the 6-foot-1 guard, who averages 23 points per game and had a career-high 45 against Hersey earlier in the season. "He is staying healthy this season and putting together a nice run."
It was the sixth straight win for BG (13-10), which also received 25 points from Andrew Apel and 13 from Steve Soifer.
Bison teammate Kevin Newman collected a team-high 12 rebounds.
Barrington 61, Willowbrook 59: Less than 24 hours after notching a Mid-Suburban League win, Barrington's boys basketball team hit the road for a nonconference game against an unfamiliar opponent in Willowbrook.
Every foot of Saturday's 30-mile trip to Villa Park hinted of a letdown for the Broncos, but they weren't about to let the chance of a weekend sweep slip away.
Barrington held off a fierce effort from Willowbrook, creating a pleasant bus ride home with a 61-59 victory over the Warriors.
"The team came out focused today," said Broncos senior guard Brad Zaumseil, who scored 7 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. "We didn't have much time to prepare for this one. We had JV this morning and came straight here. We just came out and did what we had to do."
Willowbrook (9-12) nearly ruined the trip for Barrington (14-10) after Josh Joiner's basket at the start of the fourth quarter put the Warriors ahead 40-38. A 6-0 run reclaimed the lead for Barrington, which extended the advantage to 53-48 on Zaumseil's three-point play with 3:41 left.
Trailing 59-56 with less than 20 seconds remaining, the Warriors missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied the game. Zaumseil responded with a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left to seal the win.
Tiger Greene's 3-pointer at the buzzer put the final at 61-59.
"We thought this was a dangerous game for a lot of reasons," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker, whose team beat Conant on Friday. "Conference game last night where we played really well. You've got to guard against a letdown, so that was a challenge. I really like how they responded. I thought they came out ready to play."
Barrington went to work right away establishing 6-foot-5 junior Zach Bart in the post. Working deep toward the basket, Bart scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter. Bart's perfect shooting led to the Broncos' collective 20-of-34 effort on the night.
Willowbrook, however, looked ready to make a run in the third quarter while forcing Barrington into 9 of its 22 turnovers and 4-of-11 shooting from the field. The Warriors, however, committed 9 of their own turnovers while making only 3 of 9 field goals.
A brief 7-0 run, capped by a Joiner 3-pointer, gave Willowbrook its biggest lead of 34-31 midway through the third quarter. Barrington responded with 7 straight points.
Greene scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Willowbrook while Joiner finished with 11.
"We didn't have the energy we've had the last three or four games," said Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins. "I don't know if it was having Friday off or the 6 p.m. start, but no excuses. We just came out flat."
Maine West 47, Elk Grove 46: Maine West knew the game was not over.
The Warriors believed they could will their way back from a slow start.
But thinking those thoughts, and performing them are often two different challenges.
In Maine West's home boys basketball contest with Elk Grove on Saturday night, what the Warriors believed wound up coming true.
The final score read 47-46 in favor of Maine West, but the story of the game goes well beyond that.
At one point in the first quarter, Elk Grove led 22-5.
Even with about a minute left in the third quarter, the Grenadiers were very much in control with a 33-26 lead.
From there, Maine West (12-11) went on a 13-2 run to take a 39-35 lead with 4:19 to play.
That didn't deter Elk Grove (11-12).
The Grens took a one-point lead with 2:17 to play, and the game was tied at 44 with 37 second left when Maine West guard Anthony Dones went to the free throw line and connected on both of his attempts. The Warriors only needed one more free throw from guard Allante Bates to have enough points to win the game.
"We just had to keep fighting and not give up," Bates said. "We've been this position before and came back and won. We just had to keep playing hard."
Bates scored 15 points, with 11 of them coming after halftime.
Dones was the spark for the Warriors, though. He scored only 3 points, but grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. He led Maine West in rebounding, and he's listed at 5-foot-7 on the roster.
Although he is normally a starter, Dones came off the bench in Saturday's game.
"I just came in and did whatever we needed to do," Dones said. "We were down big at the beginning of the game, and I just tried to get us back into the game, and back into a rhythm running our offense."
While Dones and Bates were fantastic, it was senior guard Tom Kukec that scored a game-high 16 points for Maine West.
"The fans that watch him know that he's a good shooter," Maine West coach Erik McNeill said. "And that's what we do, we try to run sets for him. He is our best defender. Each night he has to guard their best player, and then he has to try to score for us. It's a compliment to him on what he's able to do without really subbing."
Elk Grove coach Anthony Furman pointed to the late 13-2 run for Maine West as the key point in the game. He felt his team made a couple of poor decisions during that stretch.
"For as excellent as the first quarter was, that's poor," Furman said of the late stretch. "Then you go down the line, and you've got to make plays. I thought we took a couple of poor shots, and made some poor decisions defensively. We found ourselves chasing a bucket, and trying to make a play at the end of the game."
Senior center Jake Gatziolis led Elk Grove with 10 points and seven rebounds. Eight of those points were scored in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Austin Amann, and senior center Brian Kelly each scored 8 for the Grens.
Hoffman Estates 58, Maine East 43: Joe Piko and Hoffman Estates played near-perfect basketball for the final 5:50 of the third quarter allowing the Hawks to cruise past Maine East 58-43 in the nonconference game.
The host Hawks led 19-18 at the half.
Maine East opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run to lead 25-21.
That's when the Hawks put the clamps on the Demons, forcing 9 turnovers while running off 20 unanswered points.
"We needed that," said Piko, who scored 7 of his season-high 22 points during that stretch to go with his 12 rebounds. "We came out with some energy. The team just fed me the ball inside.
This is a great win for us. Hopefully we can build off of it"
The victory helped Hoffman Estates (4-16) break a five-game losing streak and get back on track after a tough loss Friday to Schaumburg.
"Our kids were disappointed after the Schaumburg game, they were mad," Hoffman Estates coach Luke Yanule said. "And I thought that they showed that in the third quarter."
The Hawks used their pressure defense to force 29 turnovers from Maine East (5-15) and limit the Blue Demons to 43 percent from the floor (17-of-40), including a 1-10 in the first quarter.
"We really picked it up in the second half," said Iziah Robinson, who had 9 points and 4 steals. "We were kind of lazy in the first half. But our second half play is what we need every time."
Yanule says that this effort is the kind the Hawks can build on heading into the end of the regular season.
"I thought it was our best offensive game of the year," Yanule said. "We have four games left before the playoffs. This is a character team and now it is time to start putting things together"
Jordan Robinson came off the bench to score 9 points for the Hawks while Justin Brooks led Maine East with 12 points.
Fremd 48, Lane Tech 36: Riley Glassman (14 points), Sean Benka (10) and Matt Ochoa (8) led Fremd (15-7) in the nonconference game in Chicago.
Benka and Xavier Williams each had two 3-pointers for the Vikes.
"I thought we did a good job getting the ball inside against their 1-3-1 zone, especially in the second half," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski.
Palatine 66, Round Lake 36: Roosevelt Smart scored 17 points to lead the host Pirates (14-10).
Greg Grana added 11 points for the winners, followed by Josh Baldus (10) and Andy Macahon (9).
Conant 53, Deerfield 42: Rallying from a 17-11 deficit after the first quarter, the host Conant Cougars (15-10) employed balanced scoring to beat Deerfield 5-42 in nonconference action.
Kevin Schimel led the way with 14 points, while Robert Hudson (12 points, a pair of 3-pointers), D'Angelo McBride (10 points, a pair of 3-pointers) and Danny Sotos (10 points, a pair of 3-pointers) were also in double figures for the Cougars.
Glenbrook North 49, Prospect 36: Kurt Karis (25 points, 5 assists) and Andrew McAuliffe (20 points, 7 rebounds) led GBN (11-9) past the host Knights (13-9).
New Trier 65, St. Viator 61: St. Viator fell to 15-6 with the loss in the Loyola tournament in Wilmette.
Waukegan 52, Schaumburg 43: The visiting Saxons fell to 12-9 with the nonconference loss.
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