2015 News

A win and a loss as Matt Raffety injures hand in Hinsdale Central win

Published: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 4:14 p.m. CST


ELMHURST – Matt Rafferty didn’t have a Superman cape tucked under his Hinsdale Central basketball uniform.

It would have been fitting if he had.

Rafferty injured his right hand with about three minutes to play in the third quarter of a Jan. 23 game against York, but the senior still converted a three-point play with 23.6 seconds left in the game to lead the Red Devils to a 50-48 win.

“He showed a lot of grit and an unbelievable amount of toughness to play through that injury,” said Central head coach Nick Latorre, who initially believed Rafferty broke a bone in his hand.

That diagnosis was confirmed after Rafferty visited the doctor on Monday. The Red Devils will now have to regroup without the services of their standout post player.

“He’s going to be out a significant amount of time,” Latorre said. “Going forward we’re going to prepare the boys like we always do. Guys will have to take on slightly different roles. We’ll all have to work a little harder and execute a little better.”

Even dealing with the injury against York, which prevented him from playing the following day against St. Joseph, Rafferty was productive. He put in a layup on a Jordan Bradshaw feed with 1:16 left in the third and blocked a shot with his right hand in the waning seconds of the frame.

After missing three consecutive free throws, Rafferty hit the second of a pair with 3:10 to play before converting the three-point play to seal the win. He scored eight points and blocked a pair of shots after the injury.

“You could really see it on the free throws,” Latorre said. “He’s shooting nearly 80 percent from the free throw line this year and he missed two front-ends, but he really toughed it out down the stretch.”

The late heroics came after Central saw York mount a big comeback. The Dukes nearly went the entire first quarter without scoring a basket before a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left in the frame made it a 16-5 game. The Dukes went on a 17-4 run over the final 5:53 of the first half to get within 25-24 at intermission.

Jayvon Thomas tied the game at 44-44 with a long jumper, then put the Dukes ahead 46-44 with a driving layup with 3:23 to go. Another layup by Thomas, who finished with a game-high 19 points, put York ahead 48-45 with 1:42 left before George Kiernan’s turn around jumper and Rafferty’s three-point play closed out the game.

“I think we did a good job keeping our composure the whole game. We never really tried to do too much, we just stayed within ourselves,” Central point guard Jordan Bradshaw said. “They hit a couple tough shots down the stretch, but our guys really showed a lot of heart and a lot of toughness to get the W.

“A win is a win. No matter how hard or how ugly it is, it feels good to get one on the road in conference.”

The victory lifted Central’s record to 6-0 in the West Suburban Silver conference. The Red Devils are still leading the Silver in their quest for a third straight conference title.

The next night, the Red Devils topped St. Joseph 72-69 behind a career-high 30 points from Kiernan. Central improved to 17-2 on the season. Bradshaw scored 15 and Peter Blust had 10.

Hinsdale Central 50, York 48

Hinsdale Central leaders

Matt Rafferty: 18 points 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists

George Kiernan: 12 points, 5 rebounds, two blocks, 2 assists

Jordan Bradshaw: 8 points


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