HILLSIDE – Riverside-Brookfield guard Patrick Hanley is not playing basketball in college, deciding to enroll in the engineering program at Illinois instead.
The 6-foot-2 senior tried his best to engineer a huge comeback March 5 at the Class 4A Proviso West Sectional semifinals, but it wasn’t enough to manufacture what would have been a monumental upset of top-ranked Curie.
Hanley scored a team-high 17 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, but the fifth-seeded Bulldogs saw their historic season end with a 62-53 loss. Hanley connected on 7-of-12 shots, including three straight in the third quarter, as R-B cut into a big deficit.
“He’s been doing that the whole season,” R-B coach Mike Reingruber said. “Pat’s a great shooter and a great scorer. He’s got a great basketball IQ and is very savvy.”
Curie (32-1) closed the first half with a 15-2 run to open up an 18-point lead. The Condors had a seemingly comfortable 39-20 cushion in the third quarter, but Hanley and the rest of R-B’s all-senior starting five were far from finished.
Forward Andrew Veon’s layup triggered a 14-4 run during which Hanley tallied seven points and Charles Terry scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer. When Veon scored on a putback with 2:21 remaining, the Bulldogs (28-5) were within 43-34.
“It was really fun scoring,” Hanley said. “Zach [Vaia] was doing a good job of feeding me the ball all over the court and my teammates were doing a good job of screening for me and getting me open.”
Terry, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds, blocked Curie’s next shot, but Kansas State recruit Dajuan Gordon scored on a drive and the Condors’ superior athleticism began to take over again.
Curie scored its next four baskets on driving layups to push its lead to 13, but still the Bulldogs fought.
Vaia scored five of his seven points early in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that bounced on the rim before falling through with 4:57 remaining to cut the deficit to 51-43. But that was as close as the Bulldogs got.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Reingruber said of the comeback. “They’ve been doing it their whole careers. It’s a special group of kids.”
Grant Niego scored 11 points for Lyons Township in a 54-41 loss to top-seeded Geneva in the Class 4A Bartlett Sectional semifinal March 5.
After the Vikings took an early eight-point lead, the Lions (23-10) scored eight of the second quarter’s first 10 points to get back to within two. But Geneva’s Jack McDonald, who scored 20 points, and Josh Preston stymied LT’s rally. McDonald scored the last two baskets of the half for a 29-25 halftime lead.
Preston then scored the first two buckets of the second half as part of Geneva’s 15-7 third quarter.