Hoffman Estates knocks off Addison Trail
Hoffman Estates continues to flash a 'V'.
The Hawks, led by twins Mike and Nick Vukovic, rallied from 5 points down at halftime to upend Addison Trail 65-54 Tuesday in a nonconference boys basketball game in Hoffman Estates.
Hoffman Estates (17-4), which outscored Addison Trail 29-15 in the final 10 minutes, continued its winning ways. The Hawks are now 12-1 since the Christmas break.
"We are just focused on getting better every day," Hoffman Estates coach Peter McBride said. "It is a group that is committed to playing for something bigger than themselves and sharing the basketball. In a sport that praises egos, we have committed to selflessness."
Hoffman Estates came out of the box quickly and took an early 16-7 lead thanks to the play of Nick Vukovic, who scored 8 of his 11 points in the first half.
"I wanted to bring up the energy," Nick Vukovic said. "I think we play better as team when we have the lead at the beginning of the game. We want to make a winning culture here. It is more than basketball. We are friendly to each other and we love each other so much."
Addison Trail (10-10) then began to find its way. Led by Nathan Johnson and Joseph Morales, the Blazers went to the boards hard.
Thanks to second chances on the offensive end, the Blazers rattled off 10 unanswered points. They then added on to make it 32-27 at the half.
"I thought we were really sluggish in the first half," McBride said. "That put us in compromising positions on the defensive end which led to offensive rebounds by them. I was really proud of our response after halftime."
Led by Mike Vukovic, Hoffman was able was able to stay close in the third quarter. Mike Vukovic scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter as the Hawks tied the game at 41-41 with 1:10 left in the quarter.
"I think halftime was a big part of it," Mike Vukovic said. "We came out stronger and wanted to compete harder than they did. We needed that competitive edge. We wanted the pace our way."
Yashua Pettis-Taylor grabbed an offensive rebound for the Hawks and his putback put Hoffman up for good just before the end of the third quarter, 43-41.
Luka Sparavalo ignited a 9-0 run by the Hawks as they opened up a 52-44 lead. DJ Wallace, who finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks, then put the game away with a basket, 4 free throws and a 3-point play to make 61-48.
Addison Trail, which now has lost five in a row, was led by Jacob Daniels, who had 12 points. Luke Smith, who is a freshman, had 11 points, Samuel Renc 10 points, Johnson 8 points, 6 rebounds, and Morales added 10 rebounds.
"We had the game at a pace we liked," Addison Trail coach Brendan Lyons said. "I thought some good plays by them defensively and some ill-advised shots by us sped the tempo up. And then it got away from us."