Boys Basketball: McCraney delivers for Homewood-Flossmoor
By Patrick Z. McGavin For Sun-Times Media December 21, 2013 10:12PM
Homewood-Flossmoor's Destin Barnes, Libertyville's Conor Peterson (11) and Johnny Vernasco (25) fights for a loose ball. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 22, 2013 2:17AM
Homewood-Flossmoor coach Jim McLaughlin was desperate to find a shooter who was willing to step up and put the team’s burden on himself.
Dorian McCraney accepted the challenge.
The 5-foot-9 senior guard hit four crucial three-pointers and scored all 16 of his points in the second half as Homewood-Flossmoor forced overtime with an 11-1 run and rode McCraney’s hot hand to close out Libertyville 62-54 in the opening game of the Proviso West Tournament on Saturday in Hillside.
McCraney also recorded three assists and two steals.
“The coach was waiting for somebody to hit just one (three-pointer),” he said. “The team was looking at me and I thought I had to step up for my team.”
McCraney drilled two three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The second from the top of the key with just over two minutes remaining keyed an 11-0 explosion that wiped out Libertyville’s 45-35 fourth-quarter advantage. Senior center Tai Odiase’s leaner in the lane gave the Vikings their first lead at 46-45.
Libertyville senior forward Steven Braun split two free throws with 1:25 left to produce the game’s first tie.
McCraney sustained his hot hand in overtime. His three-pointer from the left wing marked the final lead change at 52-50.
“I knew the ball was coming back to me,” he said. “I swung it once and it came back and I knew my team was looking for me there.”
Odiase threw down a monster dunk to give the Vikings their largest lead at 59-54 with just over a minute to play. Odiase finished with eight points.
Junior swingman Destin Barnes had season highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Vikings (6-3), who trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half.
“At first we didn’t play our game,” Barnes said. “We didn’t come with the defensive energy we needed or we didn’t crash the boards.”
Libertyville (5-4) rode the hot shooting of reserve guard Conor Peterson in running out to a 14-point first-half lead. Peterson scored 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting in just six minutes. Peterson and front-court players Braun and 6-foot-8 Joe Borcia shot a combined 10-for-10 in the first half as the Wildcats shot 63 percent (12-for-19) in leading 32-20 at the break.
Libertyville shot just 7-for-27 in the second half and managed just 14 points in the third and fourth quarters combined as turnovers hurt the Wildcats.
Homewood-Flossmoor forced 11 Libertyville turnovers in the second half and 19 for the game.
“We knew as long as we put them on their heels and forced pressure the game was in our favor,” Barnes said.
Braun finished with 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Wilcats. Peterson was limited to just two second-half points and finished with 15. Borcia had seven points and nine rebounds.
“They went to that full-court pressure and we didn’t handle it very well,” Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil said. “During that run they had, we missed a layup, we missed a couple of free throws and we didn’t contest that wide open three-pointer (McCraney) hit.
“In the overtime, we were just chasing them too much.”