2016 News

Chris Eck provides points when Hinsdale Central gets into trouble

Chris Eck provides points when Hinsdale Central gets into trouble



Patrick Kelly

Pioneer Press




Chris Eck knocked down an early 3-pointer to open the scoring.

The Hinsdale Central guard did not score again until the start of the fourth quarter when Hinsdale Central played Oak Park-River Forest on Friday, Jan. 29. He still managed to contribute in between by grabbing rebounds and looking for open teammates.


The Red Devils dropped the 64-61 West Suburban Silver decision in double overtime at Oak Park, but Eck regained his shooting touch and finished with 12 points.

"It is always good to get my first bucket; it makes me feel like I have more momentum," Eck said. "I always like to push the ball after that.


"I was in foul trouble for a little bit, so I did not want to force too much. I also wanted to get my teammates looks. (Drew) Shepherd was knocking down shots, and Peter (Blust) was doing some work in the post. I was looking for that, too."


When Eck did not score for almost three full quarters, the junior grabbed seven rebounds. He scored four points in the second overtime, when Hinsdale Central led, or was tied, until the final 30 seconds.


"I am always trying to defend and get back on defense," Eck said. "Also look for my teammates, to get them open and get assists and some easy buckets."


Even though Eck is a junior, he feels at ease running the offense.

"I am comfortable being a leader," Eck said. "I like having the ball in my hands and making plays for my team. I think we work well together when I am leading the point."


Against Oak Park (12-9, 4-3) the Red Devils needed a scoring boost when leading scorer and rebounder Blust (15 points) fouled out with just over three minutes left in regulation.


"The opportunities presented themselves for him (Eck) to attack the basket," Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre said. "I thought he did a pretty good job of getting to the rim, and creating some opportunities for himself."


Latorre has seen positive contributions from Eck throughout the season.

"He has been solid for us all year; he has got a very high basketball IQ," Latorre said. "He kind of gives us whatever we need. When we need scoring, he is able to do that. He does a good job of getting us into our offense. I thought he took care of the ball pretty well.


"He has been a rock for us all year. He plays a lot of minutes and he does a really good job, either playing the point, or playing off the ball. He has been a key guy for us."


Shepherd also provided a scoring boost for Hinsdale Central (9-10, 3-4), which also lost on Saturday, Jan. 30, to Glenbard West, 54-52. The senior guard knocked down four 3-pointers, including two in the first overtime, and finished with 15 points against OPRF and 20 against Glenbard West.


Hinsdale Central and Oak Park split their two conference games, after the Red Devils claimed a 51-41 victory on Dec. 11.

"They run great sets; they have really smart players," said Huskies coach Matt Maloney. "They just really rise to the occasion when they play us."



Patrick Kelly is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

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