Boys Basketball: Naperville Central battles back to edge Stevenson
Updated: December 30, 2011 10:44PM
For the third consecutive night, Naperville Central dug itself out of a hole and came away with a victory. On Friday, it was for the title of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic as the Redhawks nipped Stevenson 48-46.
“We had to wait for our opportunities and be patient,” said Ryan Antony, whose three three-pointers in the fourth quarter paved the way for Naperville Central.
“We just keep on going and chip away at the lead and try to get back up on top.”
Jalen Brunson’s steal and subsequent driving layup put Stevenson (10-2) up 22-13 with 3:11 left in the first quarter.
The Redhawks then turned up the defensive pressure, holding Stevenson scoreless for nearly six minutes. Meanwhile, Naperville Central was finding its halfcourt offense, running off 12 unanswered points to lead 25-22 early in the third quarter.
“I thought our guard play tonight was terrific,” Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer said. “And our defense was great as well.”
Stevenson pulled even at 40 on a baskest by Brunson (14 points) with 4:36 left. Antony nailed hit his second trey of the quarter to make it 43-40, but Stevenson’s Michael Fleming answered with a three of his own to tie it at 43 with 3:44 left.
Antony put the Redhawks up for good with his third three and Austin Pauga (17 points) hit a jumper to make it 48-43 with 1:56 left.
“I was just being patient and waiting for my chance,” said Antony, who finished with 11 points.
Fleming, who finished with 19 points, hit another three as the Patriots closed to 48-46 with 1:45 to play.
Both teams had their chance to put the game away in the final minute. Naperville Central missed three one and one opportunities while Stevenson failed on four field goal attempts.
“These kids will never quit,” Kramer said. “The key is our younger guys are growing up.”