Boys Basketball: Lincoln-Way East tops Lincoln-Way Central
By Randy Whalen For Sun-Times Media January 11, 2013 11:16PM
Updated: February 14, 2013 6:35AM
When a team is looking for its first conference win, everyone has to contribute. That was the case Friday night as Lincoln-Way East got its first SouthWest Suburban Blue victory of the season, thanks in part to a player who didn’t score.
That was Tommy DiNaso, who came up with a huge blocked shot in the final seconds and East held on for a 34-29 victory over Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox.
East (7-7, 1-4) was led by Chris DeRubertis’ 11 points. Central (7-9, 0-5) received 11 points from Joe Newtoff.
“It was a big win, because it was a conference game, a rivalry game,” DiNaso said. “We’ve dropped a couple that we should have won. It was a big game to get the train rolling. Maybe this will be the one and we’ll just keep rolling.”
The Griffins were up 32-23 after a DeRubertis layup with 1:33 to play. Central, which scored the final 14 points of the game to stun East 49-44 in the teams’ Medieval Classic meeting 13 days earlier, closed to within 32-29 on a free throw by Kyle Carpenter with 16.3 seconds left.
Carpenter missed the second free throw, but the ball went out of bounds to the Knights. They inbounded and got the ball to Newtoff in the right corner, but DiNaso, a 6-foot-1 guard, swooped in to knock it away with 7.7 seconds to play.
“I saw the play developing in my mind,” DiNaso said. “I saw the guy (Newtoff) standing wide open in the corner, so I thought, ‘He’s probably going to shoot it.’ So, I thought, ‘Why not go for it?’ In that situation, with us up by three, you don’t want them to take a three.”
Central did get another opportunity, but Brad Bass (10 points) had his long three-pointer go off the back of the rim. Two free throws by Eric Spudic with two seconds to play iced it for East.
Jon Junkroski added six points for the Griffins, including a basket that put them ahead 11-2 midway through the first quarter.
“We didn’t shoot well at all,” Central coach Bob Curran said. “I thought our kids showed some grit and some toughness to stay in the game. For shooting as poorly as we did, we still had opportunities to tie the game. I’m proud of the kids for that.”