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Boys Basketball: Reavis, Argo come up short in semifinals at Romeoville

Lemont's Juozas Balciunas (25) looks for an open teammate during Thursday night's game between Lemont University high schools. | Paul

Lemont's Juozas Balciunas (25) looks for an open teammate during Thursday night's game between Lemont and University high schools. | Paul Bergstrom ~ For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 29, 2013 6:44AM



Back-to-back overtime games Thursday night at the Romeoville Christmas Classic pushed the schedule back, but it was worth the wait for the host Spartans.

Romeoville survived some shaky free-throw shooting in overtime and escaped with a 55-52 victory over Reavis in the semifinals of the large school bracket. Romeoville will face Plainfield Central on Friday for the large school title.

“It’s a big win,’’ Romeoville coach Jeff Bambule said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that program. To beat them is a good win for us.’’

Guard Jimmy Moon led Romeoville (3-8) with 22 points, including six three-pointers.

“He’s been struggling a little bit lately,’’ Bambule said. “He started the season well, but once they see you can shoot, they’re going to get out on you. It was good that he came through. A lot of guys came through.’’

Christian Diaz drove to the hoop for 10 of his 15 points, maneuvering inside twice for layups in overtime. His final points gave Romeoville a 53-52 lead with 1 minute, 15 seconds to play in the extra period.

“The thing about Diaz’s drives is he’s patient,’’ Bambule said. “We run some plays where he goes right away, but a lot of his drives came late in the possession, two, three reversals.’’

Romeoville could have put the game out of reach near the end, but the Spartans missed 10-of-12 free throws during the last minute of overtime.

Nick Bal scored a game-high 23 points for Reavis (8-4) and Eduard Puha had 17. Bal fouled out in the extra period, but his three-pointer with 24 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 49.

“We had opportunity after opportunity to win the game,’’ Reavis coach Jeff Smith said. “It’s tough having our best guy foul out. It’s a tough one, a tough one. Romeoville played great though.’’

Plainfield Central 62, Argo 52: Plainfield Central (5-5) advanced to Friday’s large school championship game after outscoring Argo 21-14 in the fourth quarter. Mitch Young led the Wildcats with 17 points, Logan Velasquez had 16 points and six rebounds and Curtis Harrington contributed 11 points. Dustin Krob scored a game-high 22 points for Argo (4-7).

Lemont 53, University High 45: Lemont outscored University High 20-9 in the fourth quarter en route to the small school semifinal win. The Indians will face Ridgewood on Friday for the small school title. Joe Hehir led Lemont (11-1) with 19 points, Martynas Einikis had 16 and Juozas Balciunas added 10. The Indians were held to six points in the third quarter and trailed 36-33 going into the final period.

Fenger 75, Joliet Catholic 57: Shakar Washington scored 12 points and Jalen Jackson added 11 for Joliet Catholic (2-13) in the small school consolation semifinal.

Chicago Christian 67, Perspectives 62: Corey Bulthuis poured in a game-high 30 points for Chicago Christian (4-7) in the small school consolation semifinal.



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