Boys Basketball: St Rita rallies behind Tony Hicks, downs De La Salle12/2/11 Chicago-St. Ritas Tony Hicks drives against DeLaSalles Demarcus Richardson. Stacia Timonere/for the Sun-Times
Updated: December 2, 2011 10:45PM
It was a raucous affair, with two impassioned coaches and a pair of ranked teams. In the end, the game submitted to the raw will of St. Rita senior Tony Hicks.
Hicks scored 31 points and corralled the final rebound to seal No. 8 St. Rita’s 66-64 double-overtime win at No. 6 De La Salle on Friday.
De La Salle (0-1, 0-1 Catholic North) led 27-13 with 5:50 to play in the second quarter and the game seemed headed to a blowout. St. Rita (1-0, 1-0) was without two injured starters, 6-6 senior AJ Avery and 6-2 Dominique Matthews.
“I feel like a lot of teams can’t defend our speed,” Hicks said. “So I never thought we were out of it.”
Hicks refused to quit. His four-point play with 5:40 to play in the second quarter swung the momentum back to the Mustangs. Then, two quarters and one overtime later, his drive and basket with 1:56 to play in the second overtime provided the winning margin.
“It was good to get a win,” Hicks said. “I just knew I had to put everything I had into the game. There was a lot happening all over and I just tried to take charge.”
Highly-touted freshman Charles Matthews lived up to his billing. He scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds, but more importantly, showed the poise of a much older player.
“He is going to be a big-time player,” Hicks said. “Like really good. Mr. Basketball good.”
St. Rita senior Mike Foody was a force in the paint. At 6-3, he was much smaller than the Meteors’ 6-9 Gavin Schilling and 6-7 Alex Foster, but he gave them all they could handle.
“Foody is tough,” Hicks said. “He gets in a lot of people’s heads. A lot of people are scared to play him.”
Foody fouled out in regulation. Schilling (nine points, 10 rebounds) fouled out in the first overtime. Foster (14 points, nine rebounds) fouled out in the second overtime.
With those two players out, St. Rita was able to focus on Alvin Ellis (24 points, 12 rebounds) in the second overtime and the Meteors were unable to score.