Boys Basketball: Michael Orris, Crete-Monee escape Thornwood in 3 OTMichael Orris of Crete-Monee lays in a long shot over Thornwood's Johnte Shannon. Patrick Gleason ~ For the Sun-Times
Updated: January 10, 2012 9:19PM
Darrell Combs and Michael Orris don’t quite look the part, but Tuesday in Crete the two Division I-bound guards traded potential game-winning and tying shots like a pair of heavyweight boxers trading punches — some missed and some landed.
Combs couldn’t win the game in regulation. Orris couldn’t drain the game-winner in overtime. Then Combs managed to send the game into a third overtime with two clutch free throws.
In the end, it was an Orris three-pointer that helped propel the Warriors to a 74-63 triple overtime win over Thornwood.
“We’re two of the best guards in the state and we both wanted to win that game really badly,” said Combs, a Loyola recruit. “We’re friendly off the court and both went at it the best we could, they just pulled it out in end.”
Orris’ three put Crete-Monee ahead 64-61, igniting a 11-0 run that sealed the win.
“It’s a game of runs, we all know that,” Orris said. “Whoever comes out and withstands the runs is going to win.”
The game had several thrilling moments: Combs hitting two free throws with 19 seconds in regulation to tie the game, then missing a jumper that went in and out of the basket at the buzzer that would have won it. Orris and Jordan Perry both missed potential game-winners at the end of the first overtime, then Combs hit two free throws to send the game into tripleovertime.
Each time it was Thornwood coming from behind; eventually the luck ran out.
“It’s a testament to our guys going into three overtimes and sticking it out and getting the win,” Orris said. “Yes, there were multiple times we could have hit a shot to win the game. But we got it done in the end.”
Marvie Keith led Crete-Monee (11-3) with 21 points. Treadwell had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Hopkins scored 11 and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Orris, an Illinois recruit, finished with 11 points.
“I’ve been struggling the past several games honestly,” Orris said. “I’m not happy with the way I’m playing.”
Khapri Alston led the Thunderbirds (10-5) with 18 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Combs finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.