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Hinsdale Central outlasts Wheaton North in second OT

Hinsdale Central outlasts Wheaton North in second OT

 By Kevin Schmit

 It wasn't quite last man standing, but it sure felt like it.

Hinsdale Central outlasted Wheaton North in two overtimes on Wednesday, edging the Falcons 52-50 in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central regional semifinals.

 The Red Devils overcame 3-of-10 free-throw shooting in the final two minutes of the second overtime, which is also when leading scorer and rebounder Peter Blust fouled out. They forced a turnover and withstood three missed shots in the final 40 seconds, including a desperation shot from beyond midcourt that nearly went in with 0.8 on the clock.

 Jack Hoiberg, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and overtime periods, Michael Yaeger and Chris Eck each split a pair of free throws to turn a 50-49 deficit into a 52-50 lead.

With a stellar defensive effort it was just enough for Hinsdale Central.

"It took defense and getting stops," Hoiberg said. "We got momentum from that and it carried us the rest of the way."

On the heels of its eighth straight win, 10th-seeded Hinsdale Central (18-10) faces No. 2 Glenbard West (24-3) in Friday's regional final. The West Suburban Silver rivals split their two league games, with the Red Devils winning the last meeting 46-36 on Feb. 13 at home.

"This was exactly the kind of game I expected," said Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre. "It was one of those grind-it-out kind of games. We were fortunate to make enough free throws down at the end to get the ‘W.' "

Seventh-seeded Wheaton North (18-9), which saw its six-game winning streak snapped, used a 7-1 third-quarter run to build a 30-19 lead on a Luke Anthony basket. Hinsdale Central took its first lead of 39-38 midway through the fourth quarter, leading to seven lead changes and three ties the rest of the way.

Blust matched Hoiberg's 12 points for Hinsdale Central while Jack Bennett led the Falcons with 13 points. Anthony had 12 points and Rowan McGowen 10 points for Wheaton North.

"I'm so proud of this team because there weren't a lot of people who thought we were going to win 18 games this season," said Falcons coach Dave Brackmann. "They kept fighting the whole year and they just kept fighting tonight. It sums up the kind of group we had, led by our seniors."

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