Boys Basketball: Seton outlasts Hales Franciscan
By Bill Harrison For Sun-Times Media February 27, 2013 8:20PM
Updated: February 27, 2013 10:55PM
It’s no secret Seton and Hales Franciscan are familiar with one another, considering each is a member of the Catholic League South. Wednesday night, in a Class 2A Illiana Christian Sectional semifinal, they proved for 32 minutes just how conversant they are.
Neither team held more than a four-point lead in a game that featured five ties and 10 lead changes. Alex Foster’s layup, on an assist by Kamal Shasi, with 26.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter proved to be decisive as Seton was a 38-36 winner.
The Sting (20-10) will meet either U-High or Tilden for the sectional title at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Spartans finish 17-13.
Foster finished with all nine of his points in the second half, including seven in the fourth quarter. Shasi had a career-high 16 points. A three-point attempt by Hales’ E’mon Frison came up just short at the buzzer.
“That was a tough win,” Foster said. “That shot (by Frison) looked like it was going in. It bounced off the rim and rolled out. I’m so glad it didn’t go in.”
Alexander, the team’s leading scorer, was held to seven points, all in the first half. Johnny Fox led the Spartans with 12 points, six rebounds and five blocks before fouling out with 1 minute, 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter and his team down 36-33.
“We wanted to slow the game down,” said Hales coach Gary London, whose team lost to Seton 68-54 on Feb. 8. “We knew it was going to come down to what it did and we just weren’t able to make the shot. We were trying to get it to Alexander but they had him blanketed pretty good.”
The Spartans started the game with a 4-0 run, the biggest lead by either team.
Fox tied the game at 36 on a short shot with 1:17 left. The Sting had two fouls to give on the Spartans last possession and used them all, enabling the clock to wind down to 2.0 on the last inbounds play by the Spartans setting up Frison’s long three.
“We didn’t lose our cool,” said Seton coach Brandon Thomas, who didn’t start Mark Weems Jr., citing a bad week of practice. Weems was in the game in the first two minutes but in foul trouble most of the night and finished with two points.
“We challenged Kamal to score more and he came up big. I loved how the referees called the game. They let both teams play.”