Boys Basketball: Stagg eliminates Andrew in two overtimes
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org February 28, 2013 10:20PM
Stagg and Andrew players a scramble for a rebound. | Jean Lachat~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 2, 2013 6:25AM
Stagg and Andrew have waged some memorable battles through the years.
Thursday night’s Class 4A regional semifinal at Sandburg, however, set a new standard.
The District 230 rivals needed two overtimes to settle the score, and it was Stagg, behind a heroic effort by junior Kevin White, prevailing 59-58.
The No. 6-seeded Chargers (19-8) advance to play host Sandburg, an 18 seed, at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the regional championship. Andrew ends its season at 14-11.
“It was a crazy game,” Stagg coach John Daniels said. “Everybody really stepped up.”
None more than White, who after posting just two points in the first half exploded for 22 points in the second half.
White recorded 10 points in the two overtime sessions, including a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
The Chargers were a sizzling 21-of-25 from the charity stripe and hit 13-of-14 attempts in the fourth quarter and two extra sessions.
“I was just trying too hard and rushing in the first half,” White said. “Coach told me to relax, focus and play Stagg basketball.”
Andrew led by nine at halftime, keyed by the play of Jubril Adekoya, who scored 12 of his 22 points before intermission.
The Thunderbolts extended their lead to as big as 32-18 early in the third quarter.
Stagg used a 10-0 run, highlighted by five points by Kamil Barnas and four by White, to close to within 32-28 after three.
“We turned the ball over too much,” Andrew coach Mike O’Halloran said. “We strung a couple of turnovers together and they took advantage.”
Stagg then went on a 9-0 run, capped by a three-point play by White, to grab a 39-37 lead with 3:08 left in regulation.
Andrew wasn’t done. Mike Grenda (9 points) buried a 15-foot jumper with 48 seconds to tie the game at 41 to force overtime.
However, when Adekoya fouled out with 1:04 left in the first extra session, it appeared Andrew was doomed. The Thunderbolts, though, were able to pick up the slack.
In fact, free throws by Jarvion Franklin and Luke Hook (10 points) gave Andrew a 51-48 lead with 25.2 ticks remaining.
That’s when Max Strus, held to just five points at the time, sank a long trey — with a hand in his face — with 14.5 seconds left, forcing a second OT.
“The clock was going down and I told Kevin I wanted the ball and it went in,” Strus said of his shot. “I couldn’t get my shots up the whole game. It felt good when it left my hand, but you never know.”
Hook split two free throws with 39 seconds left in the second session to give Andrew a 58-57 advantage.
The Thunderbolts fouled White with 13 seconds left and he calmly knocked down both shots for the win. A last-second shot by Hook rimmed out at the buzzer.
Sean Dwyer added 11 points for Stagg. Glorind Lisha had nine for Andrew.
“This hurts a little, but I’m just proud of the team,” said Adekoya, who will attend Valparaiso in the fall. “We fought as hard as we could.”