Boys Basketball: Rich East races by Wheaton Academy
It was a fitting end to an 11-0 first-half run for Rich East against Wheaton Academy during the first game of the second annual Crete-Monee Shootout.
Brandon Berry dribbled through the paint and muscled down a one-handed slam that punctuated the final points of a spurt that put the Rockets in control during their eventual 59-45 victory.
The play drew the biggest buzz out of a sparse but energetic crowd in Crete Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve been working on my dunking ability for a long time,” the 6-3 junior said. “I had an opportunity on a fast break and just slammed it home.”
Berry (nine points), Don Henderson (eight points) and Nick Horne (six points) all contributed off the bench for the Rockets, who held the Warriors to two field goals in the first half when they built a 35-14 lead.
Anthony Perkins led the Rockets with 11 points while Ron Lawton added 10.
“We had different bench guys step up at different times,” said Rich East coach George Leonard, whose team has lost to Tinley Park, Joliet West and Metea Valley this season.
“It wasn’t so much an improvement we saw tonight it was the improvement we saw in the last four days of practice. It was nice to see some of the new guys getting it.”
The Rockets (2-3) raced to a 10-1 lead after a four-point play by Horne midway through the first quarter. The Warriors pulled within 12-8 after a pair of free throws by Lars Olson.
That would be the last points by the Warriors (3-3) until a free throw by Cameron Harvey with 4 minutes, 24 seconds left in the second quarter ended the long run by the Rockets.
Harvey led all scorers in the first half with seven points, finishing with nine points. Teammate Drew Sandberg also finished with nine. Nine different players scored for the Rockets.
“We were out of sync offensively in the first half and didn’t play Wheaton Academy basketball,” Wheaton coach Paul Ferguson said. “We outscored them 31-24 in the second half so we played much better in the last two quarters.”