Boys Basketball: Naperville Central takes down Oswego
Updated: November 23, 2011 8:18PM
He may have started slow, but Nick Czarnowski finished strong.
The 6-foot-6 Naperville Central sophomore center scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday, helping his team hold off host Oswego 73-69 in a game that decided the Orange Pool of the Hoops For Healing Tournament.
The victory sends the 3-0 Redhawks to Friday’s 5 p.m. title game against DeLaSalle, which routed DeKalb 84-41 to complete it’s 3-0 run through the Blue pool of the tournament hosted by Oswego and Naperville North.
“I had a really slow start,” said Czarnowski, who had six points in the first quarter when the host Panthers took an 18-16 lead.
He was held scoreless in the second period, but senior forward Jabari Hartfield came off the bench to hit a pair of three-pointers and score eight of his 15 points and lead Central to a 36-35 lead at the break.
“My teammates were counting on me and I had to step it up,” said Czarnowski, who apparently was read the riot act by coach Peter Kramer during the break. “We came out soft and we had to establish ourselves.”
Once Central settled down and began to handle the Panthers’ pressure, Czarnowski was able to take advantage of Oswego post defenders Ryan West and Jack Kwiatkowski, who started the fourth quarter with three fouls each. Both fouled out.
“He got an earful (at halftime),” said the coach. “I challenged him a little bit and he responded like he’s capable. He had a couple big baskets at the end.”
Oswego (2-1) will settle for a 3 p.m. date Friday with crosstown rival Oswego East, a team it faces twice a season in Soutwest Prairie Conference play.
Junior guard Elliot McGaughy had 15 of his game-high 28 points in the second quarter for Oswego, which also got 13 points from West and 10 from Miles Simelton.
“Jabari (Hartfield) and Mike Gruenthal (six points) gave us a lift off the bench and we got good guard play from seniors Kevin Linne (seven points) and Bryce Kirk (five points) and junior Nick Lopez.”