Boys Basketball: Brother Rice pulls out third-place win over Sandburg
Updated: December 30, 2011 9:57PM
After dropping close semifinal games the night before, Brother Rice and Sandburg could be excused for not being up for the third place game at the Hinsdale South Holiday Tournament.
But since the Eagles defeated the Crusaders by 23 points in a game a couple of weeks ago, it wasn’t very likely that either squad was going to take Friday’s contest lightly.
And that’s exactly what happened as the two teams battled throughout regulation and then two overtimes before Brother Rice pulled out an 83-78 victory over Sandburg in Darien.
“After beating them by 39 points last season, they beat us by 23 points this year, so our guys were ready to play,” Rice coach Pat Richardson said. “We got hurt on the boards and didn’t shoot free throws well. The biggest thing for us was that Sean Fitzpatrick held Nick Lehnerer to just three points.”
While the Crusaders (9-4) shot 51 percent from the floor, they were 12-of-20 from the free throw line and got outrebounded 42-19 by the Eagles (6-6), who had 22 turnovers.
In the final overtime, Rice moved ahead for good at 79-75 with just over a minute left following layups from Alex Majewski (29 points) and Garrett O’Neill (21 points).
“It’s a great feeling since they got us last time,” O’Neill said. “We weren’t going to let it happen again since we really needed this win. Usually you don’t really care too much about a third place game but because of the rivalry with them, we had to get revenge.”
Sandburg got a free throw from Joe Kuligoski (22 points, 10 rebounds) with one second remaining in the first overtime to tie things up at 71-71.
Sean Fitzpatrick (10 points) made two free throws with seven seconds left in regulation to force a 65-65 tie. Kuligoski’s three rimmed out and a tipin by Malek Harris (13 points, 11 rebounds) was disallowed.
The Crusaders led 38-29 early in the third quarter but Sandburg outscored them 21-6 the rest of the way to take a 50-44 lead into the final period.
Rice also received 15 points from Jim Barista while the Eagles also got 22 points from Brian Dace and 11 points and eight rebounds from Ken Payonk.
“After we beat them a couple of weeks ago, we knew that we were going to get their best effort,” Eagles coach Todd Allen said. “We had a real emotional game last night so I give our kids credit since they rose to the occasion. We had every reason to not really show up so I’m proud of the effort.”