Minooka rebounds with big win
Minooka put aside the disappointment of the Wednesday loss to Rich East that cost the Indians the title of their own Winter Classic tournament and rebounded Thursday night with a 66-46 victory over Ottawa to take second place.
"Last night we felt we played a really poor game,'' said guard Jake Hogen. "We felt it was important to come back and make a big statement tonight and get a victory.''
Hogen led the way for Minooka (6-6) with six three-pointers and a game-high 20 points. The two biggest threes the 6-foot-2-inch sophomore hit came after Ottawa started the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to cut Minooka's lead to 51-42.
Pushing the margin back up to 57-42 regained the momentum for Minooka, which finished 3-1 in the tournament.
"We've had two really tough losses this year and both times we came back from them,'' said Minooka coach Scott Tanaka. "And you don't really expect that from a young team, so it's great we can learn that about our team.''
There were a couple times in the game when Minooka looked like it would take control. The Indians started the second quarter with a 14-7 run to go ahead 30-16 midway through the quarter. But Ottawa responded with its own rally to cut Minooka's advantage to 34-29 at halftime.
Minooka built a 45-31 lead midway through the third quarter and was ahead 51-33 going into the final quarter before Ottawa mounted another comeback.
"I think a little bit of that is being a young basketball team,'' said Tanaka, who has only two seniors on the varsity roster. "To our team's credit, we came back with our runs after they had theirs.''
Sophomore guard Adam Holstine had 11 points for Minooka and junior forward Lavell Dean had 10 points and six rebounds.
Morris also bounced back from disappointment to win its last two games in the tournament after dropping its first two contests.
Forward Kjeld Torkelson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half Thursday to help Morris overcome a 27-26 halftime deficit and earn a 62-50 win over Pontiac.
"The kids have a lot of pride,'' said Morris coach Joe Blumberg. "To lose two games like we did and to come back and get two wins, I'm very proud of them.''
Center Jake Olson led Morris (5-5) with 22 points and guard Josh DeGraaf had 12.
Morris will play Monday in the Plano Tournament against Yorkville.
Rich East defeated Ottawa and Pontiac Thursday to win the Minookatournament title with a 4-0 record.