2013 News


By Mike Helfgot - Chicago Tribune                                             December 27, 2013

A Glynn Watson-Jalen Brunson showdown would be among the highlights of the holiday basketball season.  After starting slowly and letting Hinsdale Central off the ropes during a 45-44 second-round victory at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament on Friday, No. 9 St. Joseph was in no mood to indulge a possible semifinal matchup against Stevenson on Monday.  Watson scored all 14 of his points before halftime and 6-foot-2 junior Joffrey Brown held 6-7 Hinsdale Central standout Matt Rafferty to two points in the second half as St. Joseph survived despite failing to protect a late seven-point lead.

If the Chargers (10-0) beat No. 13 Proviso East in Saturday's quarterfinals and No. 2 Stevenson gets past Morton, the two most heavily recruited point guards in Illinois will go toe-to-toe in a semifinal.  "I just take it game by game and try to win," Watson said. "If we play them, we play them. That is a tough team we just played. They had some big guys down there to block shots, some big bodies. We played some good defense on Rafferty. They were a good team."

Watson carried St. Joseph in the first half, and his teammates paid him back by extending the lead while he spent most of the third quarter on the bench with three fouls.  St. Joseph appeared on its way to a comfortable victory when Watson fed Jon Johnson for a dunk that gave the Chargers a 44-37 lead.  But Grant Lillard of Hinsdale Central (7-3) went on a personal 7-0 run over the next 1 minute, 32 seconds to even the score at 44.  A free throw by Jordan Ash with 2:25 left was the only point either team scored in the final three minutes.

What would have been a winning 3-pointer by Hinsdale Central went in and out at the buzzer.  "I thought we played good defense, then we had a mental lapse at end of game," St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore said. "No one guarded (Lillard) and he hit two 3s in a row. That's where we're at as a team. I don't think we're as good as we can be until we take care of the mental part."

Player of the game: Glynn Watson, St. Joseph, 14 points, 6 rebounds.

Key performers: Hinsdale Central — Matt Rafferty, 11 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists; Jordan Bradshaw, 11 points, 3 3-pointers. St. Joseph — Nick Rakocevic, 12 points, 6 rebounds; Jordan Ash, 8 points, 8 rebounds.


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