2012 News

Boys Basketball: Hinsdale Central holds off Waubonsie Valley fury

BY GEORGE M. WILCOX ~ gwilcox@pioneerlocal.com
February 29, 2012

Despite a game-high 30 points from Waubonsie Valley’s Jared Brownridge, Hinsdale Central burst past the Warriors for a 66-55 victory Wednesday night in the Class 4A Downers Grove South Regional semifinal.

What a difference a year makes.

Hinsdale Central lost in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals last season to finish with only five victories on the season.

On Wednesday night, the Devils advanced to a regional final with a 66-55 victory over Waubonsie Valley in the Downers Grove South Regional semifinal. Hinsdale Central was led by senior guard Brad Anlauf, who scored a season-high 27 points and came within one point of equaling his career high from last season against Lyons.

“This group of guys can do a lot of damage in the playoffs,” Anlauf said.

It started in the second quarter when 10th-seeded Hinsdale Central (17-9) scored nine consecutive points until Waubonsie star Jared Browndridge scored on a 12-foot jumper to trim the Devils’ halftime lead to 26-22. Anlauf and Peter Thaus guarded Brownridge in the seventh-seeded Warriors’ first game since Brownridge scored 31 points in a 64-54 victory over St. Charles North Feb. 23.

Brownridge scored 20 of his game-high 30 points against Hinsdale Central in the second half. Anlauf and Thaus limited Brownridge to one basket in the first quarter and two baskets each in the third and fourth quarters. Brownridge shot 12-of-13 at the free throw line.

“We knew he is a great player,” said Anlauf, who scored 13 points in the first quarter. “Foul trouble was going to decide if I guard him or not. We switched a lot. We switched a lot if we had to. Coach [Nick Latorre] decided who was going to guard him.”

Waubonsie’s next leading scorer was Bryan Jefferson with nine points.

“[Brownridge] is such a great player,” Latorre said. “I though we did a good job of making everything difficult for him.”

One of the Devils’ unsung heroes in the second half of the season has been 6-foot-6 freshman Matt Rafferty, who made the game-winning basket to beat Oak Park-River Forest. He finished with 13 points and five rebounds against Waubonsie (18-9).

Hinsdale will play No. 9-ranked and second-seeded Downers South (22-5) for the second time in three games at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the regional final. The Mustangs beat Hinsdale 71-56 on Feb. 22 in the West Suburban crossovers to end the regular season.

“It is what it is,” Latorre said about playing Downers South again.

The Devils’ defense took over in the third quarter, holding Waubonsie to one basket for more than five minutes to open the second half. Hinsdale led 38-26 until Javares Stewart scored the Warriors’ second basket in the period.

The Warriors opened a 20-17 lead in the second quarter with a 10-2 run. Hinsdale answered with its own streak of nine consecutive points.

“Defense at the start of the third quarter was crucial,” Latorre said. “The key point of the game was that five-minute stretch.”

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