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Warriors’ comeback bid vs. Hornets falls short

The Willowbrook boys basketball team had a chance to pull out a victory in Friday’s West Suburban Gold Conference home game against Hinsdale South. The Warriors, who trailed the visiting Hornets throughout the second half, could not hit enough big shots or grab enough key rebounds to grab a lead.
Hinsdale South clung to a slim lead down the stretch and defeated Willowbrook 57-50 in Villa Park. The Warriors fell to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference. The Hornets improved to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Sophomore Alonzo Verge poured in 31 points for Willowbrook. Verge connected on 10 of 25 field-goal attempts, including two of eight shots from 3-point range. He made nine of 10 free throws. Senior Micah Williams and junior Kevin Miller both scored five points. Senior Chris Roycroft added four points.
“We had every opportunity to win tonight’s game,” said Willowbrook head coach Chris Perkins after the loss to the Hornets, which marked the team’s second straight conference loss. The Warriors opened the conference season with a home win over Addison Trail on Dec. 5. One night later, they lost a conference game at Morton. “We had open looks. We didn’t knock them down. That’s part of basketball. It’s a make or miss game. Their [Hinsdale South’s] rebounding really hurt us. They got a lot of second-chance points.
Hinsdale South pulled down 41 rebounds, while Willowbrook managed 25 rebounds.
Verge scored 14 first-half points for the Warriors, who trailed Hinsdale South 30-26 at halftime. Verge’s driving layup cut the Hornets’ lead to 37-36 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Hinsdale South scored the last seven points of the period to build a 44-36 lead with eight minutes left in the game.
Williams, who contributed all five of his points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, sank a 3-point shot to cut the Hornets’ lead to 46-39 with less than seven minutes to play. He added another basket about 30 seconds later to trim the lead to 46-41. Verge’s basket off a turnover reduced the lead to 46-43. A steal and basket by Miller made the score 48-45 with less than five minutes to play.
The Warriors missed three 3-point shots that would have tied the game during the next few minutes. The Hornets delivered a big blow to Willowbrook’s hopes by making the first of two free throws with 55 seconds to play. Hinsdale South missed the second free throw but grabbed the rebound, forcing Willowbrook to commit a foul. The Hornets then sank both attempts to take a 53-47 lead with 49 seconds remaining. Verge drained a 3-point shot at the 40-second mark to slice the lead to 53-50, but the Hornets closed the game out with four free throws and a steal in the closing seconds.
Willowbrook will play its last conference game of the month this week against Downers Grove South. The Warriors will kick off Glenbard West’s holiday event in Glen Ellyn with Monday night’s game against the tournament host.

Glenbard East

The Rams struggled last week, losing a pair of Upstate Eight Valley games by wide margins. West Aurora beat Glenbard East 72-38 on Thursday in Lombard. Two nights later, the Rams dropped a 68-45 decision at Neuqua Valley. The two losses left Glenbard East with an overall record of 4-4 and a conference mark of 2-2.
The Rams beat Bartlett on Dec. 6. One night earlier, Bartlett beat West Aurora. Those results would lead one to think the Rams could at least compete with West Aurora, but the visiting Blackhawks outscored the Rams 28-7 in the second quarter to take a 40-14 halftime lead. The lead grew to 62-21 by the end of the third period.
Junior Zach Walsh scored 14 points for the Rams, who played the game without junior Patrick Peterkin, who missed the first of six games due to suspension.
Walsh provided a team-leading 12 points in Saturday’s game at Neuqua Valley. Junior Terrance Lakes added 10 points for the Rams, who were outscored 20-7 during the fourth quarter.
The Rams’ conference season continues with Thursday’s game at East Aurora and Friday’s home contest against Waubonsie Valley.

Rams earn their first Upstate Eight victory

Junior Ashley Brown helped the Glenbard East girls basketball team to its first Upstate Eight Valley Conference victory of the season on Friday in Lombard. Brown scored 11 points in the Rams’ 40-24 win over West Aurora. Glenbard East improved to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference. Brown scored six points during the first quarter with two field goals, including a 3-point shot, and one free throw. She made five of six free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter. Senior Allison Hansen added eight points for the Rams, while junior Brittany Paganucci provided seven points and a strong defensive effort against West Aurora’s top outside shooter. Junior Amanda Chlebek added six points for the Rams, whose season continues with Saturday’s conference game at East Aurora. The Chicago Sky of the WNBA named Glenbard East its “High School Team of the Week” winner for its 2015 competition. All Illinois high school girls basketball teams are eligible to win the Sky’s weekly honor. Nominations from parents, coaches, school faculty members and players are welcome. The Sky will present 12 winners during the 2014-15 season. Those 12 teams will be eligible for the Sky’s “High School Team of the Year” award, which will be determined through online voting and announced at halftime of a Sky game in 2015. Visit the Sky’s Web site at www.wnba.com/sky for more information.