Boys Basketball: Stevenson hangs on to defeat Dundee-CrownDundee-Crown's Bruce Dantzler (25) works past Stevenson's Jalen Brunson (15) during the second quarter at Lincolnshire in Stevenson High School, Ill., on Thursday, December 8, 2011.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: December 8, 2011 9:32PM
Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose came away unhappy about the way his team finished Thursday’s nonconference home game against Dundee-Crown, while Chargers coach Lance Huber couldn’t have been less pleased about the start.
In the end, Stevenson’s start proved too strong for Dundee-Crown and the Patriots held on for a 58-54 victory despite a 31-point Chargers fourth quarter.
“It was pretty embarrassing — not that we’re embarrassed to do that against Dundee-Crown, which is a nice team — but we didn’t close,” Ambrose said. “We didn’t finish.”
The Patriots (6-1) owned a 41-23 lead after three quarters behind the play of Matt Morrissey, Jalen Brunson and Andy Stempel, but saw the lead whittled down to 56-52 with 11 seconds left on a three-pointer by the Chargers’ Dylan Kissack. However, high-scoring Patriots guard Michael Fleming, held by the Chargers to two points until the fourth quarter, made two free throws to seal the win.
Dundee-Crown (3-3) outscored Stevenson in the fourth quarter 31-17 by hitting 10-of-12 from the floor.
“I’d like to see us play that way for 32 minutes instead of for eight minutes,” Huber said.
Stevenson started like the fourth quarter would be inconsequential.
Brunson scored eight of his 10 points in the first half, Justin Berkson made two second-quarter three-pointers, Stevenson hit 11-of-22 from the floor and forced D-C into 10 first-half turnovers while building a 26-13 lead. The Chargers had only three first-quarter points and got off only five shots from the field.
“It wasn’t a pretty game,” Ambrose said. “Dundee-Crown, we came out and jumped on them and forced them not so much into turning the ball over all the time but also into not being successful with their shots.
“But they settled down.”
Not until after a third quarter in which Stevenson hit 6 of 12 from the field to finish the first three quarters at 50 percent (17 of 34). Morrissey scored five third-quarter points, then had six more of his team-high 14 in the fourth quarter to help hold off the Chargers.
“He’s started two or three games for us now,” Ambrose said of the son of former Chicago Bears linebacker Jim Morrissey. “He did a nice job.”
Fleming finished with nine points, seven in the fourth quarter to help Stevenson prevail.
“Overall I’m satisfied with our (6-1) start,” Ambrose said. “Our only loss was to Elgin in overtime, another nice team, and they hit 10 straight free throws.
“I’ll take that start to the year.”
D-C had a team-high 12 points from Brandon Rodriguez and 11 from Kyle Bernhard. Bruce Dantzler struck for eight of his 10 points and Bernhard for two three-pointers in the fourth-quarter rally that started with an 8-0 run by Dundee-Crown.
Dundee-Crown’s Will Stupar had all nine of his points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer and a three-point play in the final minute.
“We made some plays at the end but at the beginning we shot ourselves in the foot,” Huber said. “The bottom line is that — and I’m sure a lot of us shooting ourselves in the foot had a lot to do with their defense — but we have to figure out a way to be better.”