My plans changed so I quickly drove out to Hinsdale to catch the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic semi-final games. DePaul Prep v. St. Rita of Cascia was first. Then Bolingbrook v. Lincoln Park.
I arrived at the half of the DePaul game but listened to the first half over through HCHC’s website—a fabulous feature. The Rams jumped out to a quick lead early in the first quarter and it all went wrong from there. Mustangs ripped off a 9-0 run with help from some three-point shots and gained control for good.
St. Rita looked much better than they have during the unexpectedly disappointing season so far. St. Rita played very well. Inside. Outside. Defense. Boards. The Rams just struggled in every phase. You can find all the details here: http://www.hcholidayclassic.com/2017stats/17hchc23.htm
The Rams had their first real clunker of, to this point, what has been a great 11-1 season. I see this team so much that I forget how young they are. They start one senior, three juniors and a sophomore. The bench has two seniors, five juniors and three freshmen. Maybe they just stumbled. Maybe they are just not seasoned enough to play at the top level of area high school basketball. Interestingly, the Rams visit St. Rita next Friday that ought to be an interesting rematch. And this is a conference game.
I knew what to expect from Bolingbrook. I had not seen Lincoln Park and know only knew that it knocked off Whitney Young. Seeing the teams next to each other suggested that LP would have some difficulty with the size of Bolingbrook. And they did. But they made up for it. The first half felt like a very entertaining prize fight. LP went blow for blow with a bigger, stronger fighter. Even so LP trailed 28-26 at the half because of two untimed free throws.
In the second half, Bolingbrook played its inside game and lead the whole way. Lincoln Park went into a spread, drive and kick out for a three-point shot offence. Despite going 5-27 on three-point shots, the offence worked well enough to keep them close. With 3:09 left in the fourth, Bolingbrook opened a nine-point lead but Lincoln Park would not go away. The Lions fought the whole way. The outcome was in doubt to the very end. At the buzzer, Lincoln Park didn’t want to leave the floor. There is no quit in Lincoln Park. There isn’t even any stop in Lincoln Park.