Boys Basketball: Lemont rallies past Tinley Park
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media February 3, 2012 11:30PM
Updated: March 6, 2012 8:17AM
Down 21-3 to Tinley Park early in Friday night’s game, Lemont never panicked, confident it would have a response.
How’s a 27-0 run for an answer?
Juozas Balciunas caught fire to lead the charge as the No. 10 Indians remarkably led 40-32 at halftime on their way to a 75-66 South Suburban Blue win in Lemont.
“I told the guys I was very proud of them,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said. “No one panicked. Nobody got down. Nobody came into the huddle and was complaining. We just picked up our intensity and our shots started falling.”
Balciunas, who finished with a career-high 31 points, scored 15 during the 27-0 run, starting it with five points in seven seconds on a drive to the basket, a steal and a three-point play.
Lemont (19-2, 9-1) scored the final 10 points of the first quarter to pull to within 21-13, then scored the first 17 of the second. The Indians hit five three-pointers during the surge, three from Balciunas and two from Mike Wisz (8 points).
“Everybody on our team has confidence in each other,” Balciunas said. “We knew if we played our game, we’d get back in it. I just felt it. They were giving me some space and I just kept shooting because they were going in.”
The Titans (10-11, 7-3) came out on fire, connecting on their first five three-point attempts — three from Tracey Brandy (17 points) — to grab the big lead. They did not hit another trey until the final minutes of the game.
Lemont led 53-40 after three quarters and kept its margin at nine or higher throughout the fourth. Tinley Park was hurt by 20 turnovers.
Joe O’Brien scored all 13 of his points from the line for Lemont, going 13-of-14.
Eldridge Anderson had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Titans. Marcus Stokes and Michael Johnson had nine points each.