By: Luke Drase
There were two really intriguing match-ups in the Hinsdale Central semifinals on Friday night, featuring three of the hottest teams in the state of Illinois, and another trying to get back to their preseason rankings.
St. Rita and Bolingbrook won their respective games and will face each other in the finals on Saturday night, in what should be an up and down affair.
St. Rita 56 def. DePaul 37
It was a thoroughly dominating display by St. Rita.
After a line change in the first three minutes of the game, St. Rita went on a tear and never looked back.
St. Rita controlled the pace from the opening tip and held held DePaul guard Perry Cowan to just nine points on 3-14 shooting, while the Mustangs shot over 50% from the field.
Javon Cooley led St. Rita in scoring with 15 points despite coming off the bench, and senior Jordan Matthews finished with 12 points and three assists.
St. Rita is starting to live up to their preseason ranking after losing six of seven games entering the tournament.
DePaul was led by Raheem Anthony with 15 points.
Bolingbrook 59 def. Lincoln Park 56
Bolingbrook managed to slow down the hottest team in the state right now in Lincoln Park.
The Raiders surprisingly came out in a zone to try and slow down Chris Roberts and the speedy Lions, but Roberts and Lincoln Park still managed to get to the basket at will against Bolingbrook to keep right with him in the first quarter.
The second quarter was dominated by a great individual effort by Bolingbrook’s Kaleb Thornton. With Tyler Cochran and Joseph Yesufu struggling to find their rhythm, Thornton came alive to the tune of 12 first half points.
Lincoln Park would catch fire in the third quarter to take the lead behind Roberts and Terrence Shannon, but Bolingbrook fought back to take the lead after Shannon went down hard with a shoulder injury.
Shannon would quickly return to the game, but it was obvious he was still in great discomfort and he was held scoreless for the rest of the game.
Bolingbrook opened up a nine point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but did everything in their power to try and give Lincoln Park the game with turnovers, missed shots and defensive miscues.
Despite all of their struggles down the stretch, Bolingbrook somehow managed to close out the game the game largely due to two huge plays by Cochran, who had a quiet night by his standards.
With Lincoln Park down by three with under a minute to go, Bolingbrook missed the front end of the one and one, but Cochran fought for the offensive rebound and the put back to seal the win for the Raiders.
Thornton finished with 16 points and four assists with Cochran adding 11 points and nine rebounds. Roberts had a game high 22 in the loss.