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Boys Basketball: Tinley Park turns back Shepard

Updated: February 14, 2013 6:36AM



The challenge in facing Tinley Park’s 1-3-1 zone defense is obvious.

When things are going well, a long Titans team is going to make it difficult to penetrate, forcing opponents to beat them with jumpers.

“If teams are going to beat us from 22 and 23 feet, then God bless them,” Tinley Park coach D.J. Brown said. “If you’re hitting from there, you’ll beat us. At times, we’re too slow to match up man-to-man, so we rely on the zone.”

Chasing visiting Shepard into a horrendous shooting night, Tinley Park managed a 52-45 South Suburban crossover win Friday night.

Gregory Martin and Marcus Stokes led a balanced attack for the Titans (6-11, 3-4) with 11 points each. Vince Gooden (10 points) and Welbon Garnett (9 points, 13 rebounds) also chipped in.

Shepard (9-5, 2-4) shot 19-of-70 from the field overall and just 6-of-31 from three-point range.

“Playing the zone, we try to confuse people — no easy shots,” Tinley Park’s Orlando Lewis said. “We’ve been working on it all year, and we’re just trying to stay active.”

Despite Shepard’s offensive woes, the Astros were very much in the game throughout. Gooden, who sat out the first half after missing two practices during the week leading up to the game, though, started a run for Tinley Park early in the third. The senior hit a three-pointer and scored on a spinning drive as part of a 7-0 Tinley run off a 24-23 lead.

Leading 43-39 in the fourth, Tinley Park hit 7-of-8 free throws over the final two minutes.

“We’ve been beating ourselves,” Lewis said. “When we make layups and hit free throws, we’re a good team.”

Londell Lee (13 points), Jacob Littleton (11) and Antionne Listenbee (10) paced Shepard.

“We were really cold,” Shepard coach Tony Chiuccariello said. “There were some clean looks, and, boy, we shot it poorly. When you’re shooting like that, you’ve got to move the ball and find the seams of the zone.”



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