Boys Basketball: Des’Nique Harris leads Plainfield East past MinookaMinooka’s Anthony Thomas (11) drives to the basket against
Plainfield East’s Jawan Straughter (10) during the first half in Channahon, Friday December, 16, 2011.
| Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 16, 2011 10:12PM
Des’Nique Harris sat out Plainfield East’s win last week over Plainfield Central for what he called “mental mistakes on my part.”
But the 6-foot-3 senior forward made his presence felt in a big way Friday night, scoring 22 points to lead visiting Bengals to a thrilling 54-53 victory over Minooka in the battle for the early lead in the Southwest Prairie Conference race.
Harris came off the bench and scored 14 points during a 21-4 first-half run as East (7-0, 3-0) turned an 11-4 deficit into what would become a 25-17 halftime lead. The Bengals then led by anywhere from five to 11 points for most of the second half before Minooka (6-2, 2-1) ended the game on a 9-1 run and very nearly sent it into overtime.
How close did the Indians get? With East leading 54-51, Minooka junior guard Darrin Myers was fouled attempting a three-pointer, so he had three free throws to tie. He missed the first, however, then made the second.
After a timeout, he attempted to miss the third shot and have it bounce high off the rim where Minooka leaper Kevin Burkett might be able to soar into the air and put in the tying rebound. However, the ball caught the front of the rim and bounced in to account for the final score. East’s 6-9 Brian Bennett threw the ensuing inbounds pass to the front court, it was batted into the air and that ended it.
“My teammates got me active, they were looking for me,” said Harris, who was 10 of 11 from the field, all from inside the paint, and grabbed nine rebounds. “Brian (Bennett) had a little foul trouble and I had to step up.
“That’s my role, to come in and bring some energy. But I know I still have some mental stuff to work on.”
“I’m happy for Des’Nique,” East coach Branden Adkins said. “We knew it would be a tough atmosphere here, and he stepped up big time.”
Lavell Dean scored 13 points for Minooka and Adam Reynolds added 10 to go with a game-high 10 rebounds for Minooka, which refused to surrender. “Lavell played a phenomenal game, and I really have to credit our kids’ resiliency,” Indians coach Scott Tanaka said.