Elgin brings tourney back, takes 2nd place

Elgin simply ran out of time.

The Maroons' furious fourth quarter rally fell short as Shepard claimed the Elgin Holiday Classic with a 45-41 win Friday night.

It was the first classic since 2013.

Down 38-21 early in the fourth quarter, Elgin started the final 8 minutes with a 11-0 run. Angel Nunez hit a pair of 3-pointers and Ismael Martinez canned a shot from beyond the arc as Elgin got within 38-32 with 3 minutes left.

A 3 by Shepard's (8-7) Jermell Lymon gave the Astros a 41-32 lead with 1:22 left.

Nunez and Nathaniel Aquino made 3-pointers to pull the Maroons (8-7) within 41-38, but Elgin (8-7) couldn't get any closer.

"It was a great comeback in the fourth quarter," said Elgin first-year coach Brett Johnson, a 2002 graduate of Elgin. "The guys are starting to buy in. We didn't quit. We are starting to change the culture. The guys are upset after the game and that means they care. It hurts. We have doubled our win (4) total from last year."

Elgin, 8-of-15 from 3-point range, was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter

Nunez, with 4 treys, led the Maroons with 12 points.

Martinez, who scored 9 points in the fourth quarter, added 11. Maddox Hollian scored all 11 of his points in during the first 3 quarters.

Lymon led the Astros with 18 points (three 3-pointers), 4 assists and 3 steals. Payton Crims added 12 for the winners.

"Elgin hit some big 3s and never quit," said Shepard coach Tony Chiuccariello. "They played hard. Give Elgin a lot of credit. We have to play better and execute better down the stretch. It was a great tournament for us. It is a nice springboard for the rest of the season."

Hollian from Elgin and Lymon and Crims from Shepard were selected to the all-tourney team,

"We are glad to get the tournament back," said Johnson. "We hope to get more local teams and have more of a local flavor next season."

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