Boys Basketball: Naperville North downs rival Naperville Central in 3OT thriller
Updated: January 13, 2012 10:45PM
Momentum can be very contagious while being at the same time very fickle.
Having seized sole possession of first place in the DuPage Valley Conference last weekend with a pair of key road wins, Naperville North provided quite the follow-up Friday night hosting crosstown rival Naperville Central.
Needing three overtimes to finally pull out a 62-58 victory over the Redhawks, Naperville North overcame yet another slow start to claim its 10th victory in its last 12 games.
Matt Stacho led three scorers in double figures for Naperville North with a game-high 16 points, while coming through with a basket none bigger than the one he had to conclude the first half.
Stacho’s steal and eventual basket at the first-half buzzer gave the Huskies their first lead of the game at 22-21, concluding a 12-2 run to end the first half.
“Yeah, it gave us a lot of confidence,” Stacho said. “We knew that once we got started, we were just gonna keep building. We were gonna keep going. We had a lot of confidence going into the second half and took off from there.”
Naperville North (11-4, 6-0 DuPage Valley) would never trail again, extending its lead out to as many as eight points in the second half before seeing the Redhawks overcome a seven-point deficit entering the final quarter.
Naperville Central opened the game on a 10-0 run and lead for the majority of the first half behind eight points from sophomore guard Ryan Antony, but it was the job that the Huskies did on fellow sophomore Nick Czarnowski and its inability to connect from the free-throw line that did them in.
The Redhawks (10-5, 2-4 DuPage Valley) made only seven of their 15 free throws.
“Just going through the whole thing, it came down to free-throw shooting. I think we missed one-and-ones in the third overtime,” Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer said. “We could’ve taken control of the last two overtimes. We missed free throws, so that’s what happens. In close games and games like this, you gotta make your free throws.”
With 13 points, Czarnowski eclipsed double figures for the first time in four games for the Redhawks, who were led by Austin Pauga’s 15 points.