Boys Basketball: Hillcrest stymies Lemont
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org January 24, 2014 9:26PM
Lemont, IL - Friday, January 24, 2014: Hillcrest's George McDaniel (11) drives to the basket vs Lemont. | Steve Johnston/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 27, 2014 6:44AM
Host Lemont provided plenty of problems Friday night for Hillcrest, from a rowdy crowd to a hard-to-penetrate 2-3 zone to a physical presence that, at times, the Hawks couldn’t handle.
Throw in horrendous 13-of-29 free-throw shooting and it almost seemed a miracle that it was a stalemate after three quarters.
Maybe it was Taylor Adway hitting a couple of free throws, or maybe it was Allen Jones swishing a three, but Hillcrest was a much more stable team in the fourth period, pulling away to a 63-54 South Suburban Blue victory.
Jones finished with 17 points, DeAngelo Isby 16 points and six rebounds, Adway 12 points and six rebounds and George McDaniel eight points and six rebounds as the Hawks improved to 12-6, 7-1.
Lemont (9-9, 4-3) was led by Mike Wisz (21 points, 8 rebounds) and Ethan Chester (14 points).
“We’ve got to get more consistent, start out games stronger and faster so we don’t get into situations like this,” Adway said.
The situations included falling behind early 6-0 as the 6-foot-2 Wisz muscled his way to the basket, twice going to the line and hitting all four free throws.
The Hawks, meanwhile, tried the outside against Lemont’s zone and had just enough success to prevent the Indians from building a significant lead.
The game developed into a back-and-forth affair, although part of the reason was Hillcrest’s inability to take advantage of mega-trips to the line.
Adway alone was 2-of-10 through three periods. On the other side, Wisz was 10-of-11. Jack Valone also hit a pair of clutch threes for Lemont in the third period.
“Their crowd affected us a little bit and we started out slow,” Adway said. “I’m not going to blame missing free throws on the crowd. We’ve got to knock down those free throws no matter what.”
Tied at 47 after three periods, Hillcrest scored on back-to-back tries to start the fourth on a pull-up jumper by Bakari Hull and a driving layup by Isby. The next time down Adway was fouled and hit both shots.
It was still tight at 53-52 with five minutes left when Jones stepped up by canning a three and hitting a running jumper.
“My teammates were looking for me, and coach (Don Houston) said to shoot the ball,” Jones said. “So I shot it. But my teammates really got it to me.”
Hillcrest ran clock during the final three minutes with enough success to draw Lemont out of the zone. Adway converted a layup on a pass from Hull to put the game away.