HINSDALE – Junior starter Justin Bradshaw missed several Hinsdale Central boys basketball games recovering from mononucleosis, including Dec. 15 at rival Lyons Township.
“I was there, but I wasn’t cleared to play yet,” Bradshaw said. “It was hard, just not being able to practice even. That whole month was pretty hard.”
Bradshaw unleashed that stored energy in Friday’s rematch.
His game-high 14 points with four three-pointers helped the Red Devils prevail 52-46 after LT won the earlier West Suburban Conference Silver meeting 43-40.
Trevor Hamilton scored 13 points and Charlie Lyne added 12 for the Red Devils, who celebrated afterwards with countless White-Out dressed students.
“Just the atmosphere and having a lot of kids from school show up, it’s a great feeling,” Bradshaw said. “It’s not like any other game. It’s the best thing to beat LT.”
Hamilton scored 21 points on Saturday for Hinsdale (7-14, 3-5) in its 59-51 win over Glenbard East.
Josh Berry scored 12 points, Tyrese Shines 11 and Nick McColgan 10 for LT (10-12, 2-7).
With the game tied 35-35, Hinsdale Central started the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run. After LT closed to 43-40, the Red Devils sank 9 of 12 free throws in the final 2:43 with Hamilton 6 of 8.
“Wins are great, but then throw the rivalry in, it’s an indescribable feeling,” Hamilton said. “[Coach Nick Latorre] actually said in the huddle whoever is going to win the first two, three minutes [of the fourth quarter] is going to win.”
After a five-game losing streak, the Red Devils have won two of their last three.
“I was proud of our guys because there were a couple of times where they got ahead. We just kept hanging in there,” Latorre said. “Our guys have worked harder the last two weeks than they have all year. They worked for this win.”
Berry and Shines scored LT's 11 fourth-quarter points. The Lions have been without senior starter Lazarius Williams, out with an ankle injury, all of 2018.
This game is always hard fought and it’s hard for the kids when they don’t come out on top, but I’m not upset about our effort,” LT coach Tom Sloan said. “We had some [late] shots that just rolled out, other guys with some open looks. If we make one more three-point shot, it cuts it to a one-possession game and then you never know what happens.”
Lyne and sophomore Mac Quast (7 points) helped Hinsdale Central non-starters outscore LT 22-10.
“I thought both of those guys had their best game of the year,” Latorre said. “We’re really deep. Anyone on any given day can contribute,” Quast said. “It was really an amazing feeling to be in there (late). Then to be able to contribute to winning was a really nice, really good feeling.”
The Red Devils hit their first three shots to lead 8-0. LT closed to 24-21 by halftime and opened the third quarter with a Matt Sloyan putback and Shines’ three-point play to lead 26-24. After McColgan’s three for a 33-32 LT lead, Lyne nailed another clutch three 17 seconds later.
“We’re finally learning just how hard we have to work in order to win,” Hamilton said. “Once we figured that out, we had to figure out how to sustain it for four quarters. Going forward, we look really good.”
In the girls Silver finale, LT defeated Hinsdale Central 52-30 behind senior Sidney Bugaieski's 20 points and four 3-pointers. The Lions (16-8, 8-4) used an 18-1 second-half run to lead 48-24 after the Red Devils (8-18, 2-10) came within seven points twice.
Zach Vaia's fadeaway jumper with two seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 67-65 win over Fenwick. Vaia scored 14 points and Patrick Hanley 12.