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Hope Academy almost pulls stunner

When you pit a Class 3A school with a 6-9 player committed to Purdue against a 1A school with no Division I recruits, the result might seem to be a foregone conclusion.

But Champaign Central had to scramble to beat pesky Hope Academy 74-73 in overtime Sunday in the Martin Luther King Dream Classic at Young.

Chris Freeman saved the day for Champaign Central, sinking two free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime. The Maroons held a lead as large as 16 points during regulation but Hope Academy kept chipping away.

Hope Academy used a 14-5 spurt in the final two minutes and sent the game into overtime on a three-point shot by Isaiah Jindrich as time expired.

The Eagles had their chances in overtime leading 73-72 with 24 seconds remaining on a basket by Tarrence Johnson. But Freeman stole the show with his final heroics.

"They played hard and they played together," Hope Academy coach Mike Edwards. "It's all about competing. I told them, 'If you don't show up we lose by 20, if you come to play, we can win it.'"

Clayton Jones led Champaign Central with 27 points. Xavier Martin had 21 points, and Purdue recruit Jay Simpson scored 15.

Tyrone Smith led the Eagles (15-8) with 26 points and Johnson finished with 22 points.

Bogan 61, Aurora Central 53: Bogan (14-5) tuned up for Tuesday's Red-South showdown against rival Morgan Park with a victory over Aurora Central (8-9).

The Bengals applied pressure defense and forced the tempo, causing Aurora Central to commit 24 turnovers.

Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin, with an eye on Tuesday's conference game, used his bench liberally in the second half. "I wanted to make sure everybody got enough work in," Goodwin said. "It's important to give your reserves a chance to play when you get the opportunity."

Ronnell Buckner led with 14 points and Devaughn Johnson had 10 points.

Ryan Harreld led all scorers with 27 points for Aurora Central.

"We were just too passive and committed too many turnovers to have a chance to win," Aurora Central coach Nathan Drye said.

Glenbard South 59, Von Steuben 54: Joe Harks had 27 points and Dusko Despot added 10 points and eight rebounds to lead the Raiders (6-8) past Von Steuben.

The Panthers lost another starter when point guard Deqwon Horn rolled an ankle in the second quarter and was unable to continue.

Glenbard South coach Wade Harke said defense is what won it: "Once we shifted to zone in the second half, we took control."

Demetrius Faulkner led Von Steuben (4-10) with 18 points, Jalen Delaney had 16 points.

"I can't even get upset with the players. Injuries have really taken a toll on us this year," said Von Steuben coach Vince Carter.