There is still plenty up for grabs in the North Central Community College Conference heading into the final weeks of the season, as Joliet and Triton will battle for the conference championship.
There was also an important league game Wednesday at the Sports and Wellness Center in Palatine, as College of DuPage (11-17, 4-7) and host Harper College (10-16, 3-8) squared off in a game that very well could have clinched the third seed in the upcoming NJCAA Division III Region IV tournament, which will be hosted by Harper.
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When it was over, DuPage had earned an 81-73 triumph.
"We knew what was on the line," said Harper coach Tony Amarino. "But we didn't come out ready to play. It's the first time we didn't come ready to play a basketball game."
The Chaparrals, meanwhile, came out firing on all cylinders.
The trio of Kendal Bailey (14 points), Jake Martin (13 points) and Ryan Rader (11 points) helped DuPage run out to an early 14-8 lead.
The visitors expanded the lead to 45-31 going into half time.
"They (DuPage) got into the paint whenever they wanted" Amarino said. "We played our worst half of the season defensively. We dug ourselves a hole. We gave up (45) points in the first half."
Early in the second half it looked like a carbon copy of the first, as Bailey helped DuPage to its biggest lead of the contest at 62-44.
The Hawks started to get some momentum as Tyler Gaedele (team-high 18 points) hit 2 of his team-high 6 3-pointers after the break.
Michael Rose scored 4 of his 13 points in a 7-0 run capped by a pair of free throws which cut the Chaps' lead to 66-57 with 7:34 remaining.
Amarino was pleased with his team's play in the second half.
"In the second half, we really got after it," he said.
John Lorenz's 3-pointer cut the DuPage lead to 71-70, but in the end, the Chaparrals' early margin proved too much for Harper to overcome.
Women's game: Harper's women dropped a 69-33 decision. With 9:39 left in the first half, Monica Hinderer (15 points) hit a bucket to give Harper its biggest lead at 10-6 before DuPage went on a 15-0 run to take control.