Boys Basketball: Yorkville surges past Sandwich
The postseason is a time where records go out the window, and style points don’t matter. Living to see another day is the only objective.
Yorkville had one of those nights Tuesday when the Foxes traveled to take on the hosts in a Sandwich Class 3A regional semifinal contest. With nothing seeming to be going right and only 25 points on the scoreboard as the third quarter wound down, Yorkville threw together a 10-minute flurry that allowed it to escape with the 45-31 win.
The Foxes improve to 20-7 and move to Friday’s title game against the winner of Wednesday night’s Marmion/Aurora Central tilt, while the Indians finish the season at 12-18.
“Those kids play hard and these kids all know each other, and you can tell kids that, but high school kids can sometimes come up with their own ideas as to what is going to occur,” said Yorkville coach Dan McGuire, who felt his team was “on vacation” at times during the game. “Luckily we had some guys who stepped up and made some big shots at the end.”
With P.J. Crotty leading the way with seven points and Yorkville battling foul trouble, Sandwich led most of the first half and led by as many as six (17-11) after Ryan Valentine buried a three-pointer with three minutes to go before taking a 19-16 lead into the break.
It was still 25-all with two minutes remaining in the third quarter before the run Yorkville was looking for finally came. Taylor Carter and Stephen Jones each had big treys in an 11-0 burst that put the Foxes up by double digits (36-25) early on in the fourth.
Jones, who was plagued by foul trouble and didn’t score in the first half, scored 11 points in the final two periods and helped Yorkville own a 29-12 advantage on the scoreboard.
“I had a talk with the coaches and I just had to get my mind right,” said Jones. “I needed to come back in the game and not foul but score and play good defense. Coach put it in perspective that if we were to lose it was our last game so we kicked it up a notch.”
Sandwich scored just six points in each of the final two periods in a nightmarish half that saw the Indians hit just five of their 23 shots from the field.
“We played four (good) quarters effort-wise, I think we just got worn down by their athleticism and length,” said Sandwich coach Scott Bantz. “Their press got to us a little bit, and that is why they have won 20 games, they have that ability to wear on you.”
Brandon Holmes scored 10 points for Yorkville, while Crotty paced the Indians with nine.