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Boys Basketball: Oak Forest outlasts Shepard

Updated: January 8, 2012 8:17AM



Taking an inbounds pass in the corner of a tie game, a wide-open three-point shot stared Oak Forest’s Tom Zale dead in the face.

Instead, the junior guard thought, why settle for one open shot when there will be a better one inside?

Zale drove the baseline and delivered a perfect pass to Tim Loeding under the basket for an easy layup with three-plus minutes to go in the fourth quarter, giving the Bengals a 42-40 lead, one they would not relinquish in a 49-42 win over visiting Shepard.

“We’ve got (Tim) who’s played great in the post the last couple of games so if his shot is more open than mine, I’m going to give it to him every time,” Zale said. “Even if I’m a little open.”

Loeding led Oak Forest (4-2, 2-0) with 27 points before fouling out late in the game. Mario Schaeffer (9 points) and Kyle Funkhouser (8) also contributed for the Bengals.

“Tim’s really quiet, but he’s efficient,” Oak Forest coach Matt Manzke said. “He doesn’t miss much around the basket, so he can rack up those points really quick.”

Londell Lee had nine points for Shepard (2-5, 0-2) with Matt Weatherspoon and Davontae Armwood adding eight apiece.

Zale followed his assist to Loeding with another nice dish, again driving the baseline and finding an open Funkhouser under the basket. Loeding added his last score on a length-of-the-court pass from Funkhouser, Oak Forest’s baseball star, on an inbounds play. Zale (1-for-2) and Blake Waller (2-for-2) hit free throws down the stretch for the Bengals.

“Our confidence keeps growing as we progress,” Zale said.

For Shepard coach Tony Chiuccariello, the game came down to late defensive lapses.

“We got beat twice without giving our press a chance to set up,” Chiuccariello said. “That’s the difference, and down the stretch we didn’t execute.”



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