Buffalo Grove holds off Wheeling's rally

It's been a season of big comebacks. And Buffalo Grove didn't want to add its name to the list.

The Bison led by 17 points in the second quarter and then watched as Wheeling rallied to cut the lead to just one. But Buffalo Grove dug deep and held off the Wildcats 62-50 Friday in a Mid-Suburban East boys basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

"I thought our defense was great in the first half," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "They then hit that half-court shot at the end of the half and the momentum was on their side. We then made enough shots when we needed to."

Buffalo Grove (4-5, 2-1) looked like it was going to run away with the game in the first half. Led by Jacob Heinrich and Connor Woodin (9 points), the Bison built a 27-11 lead with just over two minutes left in the half.

"We came out with a lot of energy," said Heinrich, who finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds. "We get a lot of momentum on offense from our defensive effort."

Wheeling (3-6, 0-3) had struggled up to that point. The Wildcats were 4-of-16 from the field, with 9 turnovers and were 2-of-10 from the free-throw line.

Wheeling's Matt Mayer then got the Wildcats going. He dropped 2 free throws and added a quick 3-pointer. Josh Hutchinson and Elijah Hutchinson each then drilled 3s and suddenly it was 27-22 at the half.

Wheeling continued to chip away at the Bison lead. The Wildcats clawed to within 30-29 with 3:47 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Aima Igiehon (14 points, 10 rebounds).

The Bison then stepped things up. They forced 3 turnovers and hit a pair of 3-pointers with Adidas Davis and Josh Grote (10 points) each knocking one down and the Bison upped their lead to 38-31.

"Going into halftime we said some things," said Davis, who would finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds. "Everybody came together and then we came out in the second half and took care of business."

Buffalo Grove increased the lead to 11 early in the fourth quarter. Wheeling then never got closer than 8 the rest of the way.

"We kind of have two different lineups," Peterson said. "We have a defensive lineup and an offensive lineup. The guys handled their roles well."

Alex Beihoffer added 6 points and 9 rebounds for the Bison.

Wheeling was led by Elijah Hutchinson, who finished with 18 points. Josh Hutchinson had 10 points for Wheeling which turned the ball over 19 times and was 12-of-25 from the free-throw line.

"We just weren't really there for the first 14 or 15 minutes," Wheeling coach Tom Antosz said. "We got a huge run and it was a fight the rest of the way, but you can't turn the ball over like we did and miss free throws."

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