H-F denies Stevenson a shot at Hinsdale title

Stevenson's boys basketball team is no stranger to success at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic.

The Patriots have been to the semifinals the last time the tournament was held two years ago and finished fourth. They also had a fourth-place finish in 2015.

But Stevenson found some success after early defeats in the tournament in 2016 and 2018, when they won the consolation championship in each of those years.

But this time around Homewood-Floosmoor jumped out in front early and never lost the lead to defeat Stevenson 55-48 in the semifinals on Tuesday night.

"Well, (Homewood-Floosmoor) was good and they made some good shots," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "We did struggle a little bit at the start with a couple of missed shots. Maybe we were a little tight or a little bit off. We were chasing the whole game, we got in it within a possession or two a couple of times. We just could never get over the hump."

Stevenson (8-3) will take on either Hinsdale Central or Oswego East for third place on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Jaden Evans had a game-high 15 points off the bench for the Patriots and provided a spark for the team in staying with the Vikings.

"Our defense, I feel like we had a lot of energy," Evans said. "We were coming and stopping a great team like (Homewood-Floosmoor) with their offense. We got energy against them, and the bench helped out a lot."

The Patriots had tough time scoring in the opening quarter and found themselves down 13-7. But in the second quarter, the Patriots had tied the game at 22-22 on Evan Porto's layup.

The Vikings responded with a 9-2 run of their own for a 31-24 lead at the break.

Stevenson came out strong in the third with 7 straight point as Evans dropped in a 3-pointer that tied the game at 31-31 with 5:30 left.

But Homewood-Floosmoor chipped away with some key shots and led 40-35 heading into the final quarter.

The Patriots closed within a couple of points early in the fourth but couldn't find a way to overtake the Vikings.

"At some point you just have to match them up," Homewood-Floosmoor coach Marc Condotti said. "We had some adjustments planned in there. They worked for a while and they didn't. (Stevenson) was ready and we were ready too. It was the matter of who executed down the stretch. (Stevenson) was super patient, they know their strengths and weaknesses. They just don't play outside themselves. It's always difficult and like pulling teeth. It's always a good game when we play them."

Nashawn Holmes led the Vikings with team-high 14 points, Luis Acevado added 12 and Robert Brazelton chipped in with 10.

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