Boys Basketball: Sandburg trims Lockport in overtime
By Randy Whalen For Sun-Times Media February 11, 2014 9:54PM
Updated: February 12, 2014 2:18AM
With the game getting crazy, Alec Martinez remained calm — especially from the free-throw line.
The Sandburg guard hit 14-of-16 free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Eagles survived a late Lockport barrage and pulled out a 55-51 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory Tuesday night in Orland Park.
Martinez finished with 17 points, his 14 from the line down the stretch proving to be huge. Niko Cahue led the Eagles (9-12, 5-5), who won their third straight, with 23 points.
Ryan Reed came off the bench to lead Lockport (10-12, 4-6) with 20 points. Reed scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 44.
“We were reassuring ourselves and said it was a brand new game going into overtime,” Martinez said. “I had confidence in myself there. I love to have the ball and be in control.”
Sandburg won the tip in overtime and took the lead for good right away on a running shot in the lane by Eric Straka. Trailing 48-46, the Porters had an opportunity to tie or take the lead, but missed a three-pointer from the corner.
Lockport never had another possession with a chance to tie as Martinez hit 7-of-8 from the line in the final 40.1 seconds. His last two free throws came with 5.9 seconds left.
“Alec did a great job,” Sandburg coach Todd Allen said. “Lockport is tough to play. Ryan Reed hit some really big shots for them, and on the one at the end, Niko Kogionis was right on him.
“I told the guys when you think you have the game under control, and it gets tied like that, it could be really demoralizing. But I thought we did a nice job of regrouping and keeping calm.”
The Eagles led 18-13 at halftime and by as many as nine in the third quarter. Lockport, which lost its fifth straight game — all of them in the conference — tied it at 29 and again at 34, but never could take the lead.
Martinez hit two free throws with 1:20 left in regulation for a 41-36 advantage. But Reed — who hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter — swished two treys in the final 45 seconds, including the tying one from the right corner. Reed, however, didn’t score in the overtime.
Kogionis added 11 points for Sandburg. Grover Anderson had 13 points and Ralph Blakney scored 11 points for the Porters, who were without their second leading scorer, John Campbell, who was absent from school.
“Give Sandburg credit for sticking with it,” Lockport coach Lawrence Thompson Jr. said. “Ryan was ready to shoot. He understood the timing of what was going on. I’m never satisfied with a loss, but the kids did a good job.”