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Boys Basketball: St. Francis de Sales rallies past Illinois Lutheran for OT win

Updated: February 25, 2014 11:04PM



Judging by the way the game started, it was going to be a long bus ride back to the East Side for St. Francis de Sales.

Illinois Lutheran put de Sales in a 15-0 hole Tuesday night to start the last quarterfinal of the Class 1A Gardner-South Wilmington Regional.

But behind Tyler Streeter, de Sales regrouped in the second and third quarters and came away with a 59-56 overtime win that put the Pioneers in Thursday’s semifinal against No. 2 seed Dwight.

“We had to play together as a family, play together as a team, don’t put our head down,’’ Streeter said. “There were so many times in the beginning of the season we got our heads down when we start losing by a lot.’’

“It shows we have the will to fight,’’ de Sales coach Jeff Sanders said of the comeback. “That’s something I’ve been preaching. They decided to fight because if they didn’t win (Tuesday), that’s it, no more basketball.’’

Streeter made sure there’d be more basketball for de Sales by scoring 31 points, including the three-pointer in the final minute of regulation that tied it at 49 going into the extra period.

His three-point play in overtime that put de Sales ahead 58-54 in overtime wound up being the winning points.

“My teammates came to me and said ‘You’re the captain. Get us going,’ ’’ Streeter said.

“He’s our team leader. We defer to him,’’ Sanders said.

De Sales (7-17) trailed 15-2 after the first quarter, but the Pioneers had closed the deficit to 31-23 by halftime. Streeter had 10 points in the second quarter on a couple of jumpers, a putback and two layups.

“We weren’t getting back on defense. We forced a lot of shots in the first quarter. We had to play defense and talk on defense.’’

Guard Sam Geraci led No. 3 seed Illinois Lutheran (14-7) with 19 points. Collin Borns scored 16 points and Mack Newson had 15.

“I told my coaches and I told the guys on the bench, I told anyone who would listen, ‘We’re not going to beat them by a large margin,’ ’’ Illinois Lutheran coach Mark Kjenstad of the early advantage.

“I didn’t see a lot of energy out of Illinois Lutheran to start the game. I don’t know why, but I knew it was just a matter of time. We made some shots early. Basketball is a game of runs. You don’t win in the first quarter.’’



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