Wolves Beat Maine South, Win Regionals

By Nick Goldwyn

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The Boys Basketball team celebrates after their overtime win against Maine South Friday, March 4. The Wolves won 46-45, clinching the Regional title. PHOTO by Amy Chow

Senior Dante Logan bounced up and down ecstatically, Regional Champion plaque held high over head. With the fans screaming their lungs out in the stands, and the announcer trying to congratulate the Wolves over the noise, Logan turned to fellow senior Tony Pierce whose face was filled with tears of  joy.

This was the scene a few minutes after the Wolves beat Maine South in overtime (46-45) on Friday, March 4. Only a couple of seconds later, the team grouped together with Logan and Pierce holding the plaque in the middle, and were immediately stampeded by a group of crazy fans. The Wolves had won their first Regional title since 2004, and the celebration had just begun. The Wolves will play Schaumburg tomorrow night at 7:30 at New Trier in the Sectional Semifinals.

As for the game itself,Varsity head coach Bob Williams said that the team played well, with consistent effort.

“I thought it was a very consistent effort, probably our most consistent effort of the season,” he said. “The game was really really exciting, a little more exciting than it needed to be, it came down to the wire, to the final possession in regulation and overtime.”

The Wolves started the game down 7-0 (with Pierce sitting on the bench), but came back to tie the game at 9, after Pierce made the first shot of the game for the Wolves, and got them going. The second and third quarters of the game were a back-and-forth affair, with the Wolves finishing each with a two-point lead: 20-18  at the half and 28-26 after the third.

The fourth quarter began the same way as the first three, but became extremely interesting towards the four-minute mark, as both teams traded shots back and forth. With the game tied at 32, Logan stole the ball and fed Pierce on the wing for the layup and the foul.

After a jumper by Maine South senior Matt Palucki (their high scorer, who finished the game with 22 points and 20 rebounds) pulled the Hawks within one,  senior Lauris Herth hit his first bucket of the game (a short jumper) and gave the Wolves a three-point lead.

After that play and another jumper by Herth, the Wolves had a 39-34 lead with about two minutes to play, but after an offensive foul on Herth, and a run by the Hawks, which included four points by Palucki, the game was tied.

The Wolves after running down the clock had a chance to win it in regulation but senior Ramsan Younatham‘s game winner rolled around the rim and out, and the game went to OVERTIME.

In overtime the Hawks scored first on a layup by Palucki, but the Wolves answered right back with a long three from the left wing by Pierce, and a jumper by Junior Nathan Sagett to put West up 44-41. The Hawks pulled within one (44-43), but senior Patrick O’Conn0r iced the game with two clutch free throws to put the game away.

The Wolves were lead in scoring by Pierce who had 15 points in the game, Logan had seven, and junior Alek Biser, Younatham, and Herth all scored six. O’Conn0r had 6 rebounds in the game, to go along with his two free throws (his only points of the game).