Andrew gets past StaggAndrew's Mike Bobak dribbles around Stagg's Dan Ahern.
Updated: March 22, 2011 4:42PM
Andrew coach Mike O'Halloran realized his team had missed a golden opportunity to blow Stagg outs of its own gym in the first quarter on Friday night.
He was just hoping it wouldn't comeback to haunt the Thunderbolts.
The Chargers missed their first 10 field goals and scored just one point - on a free throw by Kortez McBridge with 27.8 seconds left in the opening period.
"I turned to my assistant Brian Berg and told him we should be up 10 or 12," O'Halloran said.
Instead, the Thunderbolts led by only four, 5-1, after eight minutes of play.
While Stagg would improve its shooting, it never got any closer the rest of the game, as Andrew earned a 49-42 SouthWest Suburban Red victory in Palos Hills.
Jubril Adekoya led the way for Andrew (6-3, 2-1) with 17 points, while Jabbar Adekoya added 14.
Center Brandon Marren was held scoreless the first three quarters, but contributed six points in the fourth to help prevent Stagg (6-2, 2-1) from taking over down the stretch.
"Marren is the consumate player for us," O'Halloran said. "He's not the leading scorer on most nights, but he's helping on side defense and getting rebounds. He does the dirty work."
On the subject of dirty, it's unclear what had Stagg coach John Daniels more upset postgame: His team's lack of patience on offense or how it responded to what he more or less referred to as some cheap shots by Andrew.
In fact, Daniels was infuriated by what he saw on the court.
"There's a way to act when you're winning and there's a way to act when you're losing," Daniels said. "I saw things today that bothered me. Win or lose, be a classy program and bring the kids up right. You can take all the talented people in the world and if they don't have character, it really doesn't matter. I'm not happy with the way our kids responded at times. We don't want our kids to go to that level.
"We took some bad shots; we rushed shots," Daniels said. "We didn't ever get into our offense. We want to reverse the ball, we want to post up. There were only two possessions in the first half where we had possession of the the ball more than 30 seconds before shooting. Hopefully, we'll make some free throws and layups and it will be a different story next time we play them."
Darius Draper nearly made it a different outcome with a dizzying array of offense - 14 points, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
His off-balance, circus shot from the corner with 31.2 seconds remaining trimmed the deficit to 46-42, matching the Chargers deficit after one quarter.
But the Thunderbolts survived, with Jubril Adekoya sinking three of five free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
Draper finished with a game-high 23 points, including four treys. He suffered a cut early in the game and was removed for most of the first quarter. He connected on just seven of 21 field goals on the night.
Kortez McBridge and Dan Ahern contributed six points apiece for Stagg, which finished 13 pf 44 from the field and 12 of 21 from the free-throw line.
"Our kids didn't quit," Daniels said. "We played better in the second half."
Andrew was slightly better from the field, converting 17 of 41 field goals, but also struggled from the line, hitting just 11 of 23 attempts.
Still, O'Halloran was pleased to record the road win and will be sure to contact Daniels to smooth things over.
"I knew it was going to go down to the wire," he said. "I thought we played with great composure. I'll talk to John about things. This is a big win for us."