2016 News

High school boys basketball: Slow second half leads to Lyons Township loss

By MATT LE CREN - editorial@mysuburbanlife.com

LA GRANGE – The fans who packed Lyons Township’s gym Feb. 12 had a lot to be excited about.


It was senior night for the Lions, who were hosting their annual Blackout Night, which raises money for charity. Archrival Hinsdale Central was the opponent.

“It’s always amazing,” LT junior Connor Niego said. “I love playing for LT, wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.

“What this community does and this student body does is fantastic. We were collecting money for the Ronald McDonald House and a few other small charities. It was for a good cause.”

Any thoughts the Lions had of sweeping the season series from the Red Devils turned out to be a lost cause, however, as the visitors rallied from an early eight-point deficit to win 65-49.

Hinsdale Central avenged a 59-53 loss to Lyons Township on Jan. 8 in Hinsdale.

“The first time we played it was a relatively even first half and then we asserted ourselves physically in the second half and we were more aggressive driving the ball to the paint, defensively, everything,” LT coach Tom Sloan said. “It felt like in this game in the second half that was flipped. Our guys were more passive; Hinsdale’s guys were more aggressive.”

Indeed, the Lions (8-14, 2-9 West Suburban Silver) scored 19 points in the first quarter but stagnated offensively after that effort.

Hinsdale Central pulled into a 31-31 halftime tie and then outscored the Lions 20-7 in the third quarter to take command. Guard Drew Shepherd sank eight 3-pointers en route to a game-high 26 points while 6-foot-7 forward Peter Blust added 15 points and seven rebounds.

While Niego had a solid performance with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds and his brother, Noah, tallied 13 points and five boards, the rest of the Lions could not get going offensively.

“We came out a little flat in the second half and didn’t match their physicality inside or outside,” Connor Niego said. “They just wanted it more tonight.”


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