Yes, the big game is Wednesday at West Aurora to decide if Glenbard East gets the whole DuPage Valley Conference title or if the Blackhawks get a share of the league championship pie.
But the Rams found themselves in a big game Saturday night in Lombard when they fought off an aggressive Wheaton Warrenville South squad 48-40 on Senior Night to clinch at least a share of the DVC crown.
The Rams improved to 17-6 and 12-1 in the DVC and finish the regular season with an undefeated home record.
“I’m very happy and honored and full of excitement. All the hard work we put in in the summer and off-season is paying off,” said Rams senior Marvin Grant-Clark, who scored nine points. “We’re looking forward to Wednesday.”
The Tigers (6-20, 2-11) stayed with Glenbard East until just less than six minutes remained in the game. Two 3-poiners turned a 1-point lead into a 41-36 Rams advantage, and the Tigers never got closer than five points after.
“At the conclusion of the third quarter, we wanted to pressure them more and speed up the game. We knocked our shots down,” said Glenbard East coach Scott Miller. “(Mike) Kjeldsen hit that 3 from the corner and Jaron Hall had a big 3 and (Tahron) Harvey managed the rest of the game and made free throws.”
Harvey finished with a game-high 10 points and hit all four of his free throws in the final quarter. Hall scored 9 points.
“This gives us a little more cushion going into Wednesday. This is big for us,” Miller said. “I’m proud of our guys on both ends of floor in that fourth quarter.”
The Tigers’ Matt Kienzle and Michael Kramer also hit for 10 points each, with Keishawn Watson scoring 8.
WW South hit just 1 of 6 from the field in the opening period but trailed just 13-8. The team hit 4 of 4 free throws in the first quarter and finished a perfect 13 of 13 for the game.
“Wheaton Warrenville South was more aggressive than last time and kudos to them for that,” Grant-Clark said.
Kienzle’s 3-point basket with under a minute until halftime put the Tigers to within 2 at intermission.
Grant-Clark’s shot with 1:12 left in the third quarter gave the Rams a 33-32 lead going into the final eight minutes of the game.
“I thought we battled tonight. Give (the Rams) credit. On key possessions they made their shots. I think they upped their pressure and wore us down,” said WW South coach Bob Szorc.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.