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York is dreaming of a breakthrough season and the Dukes realize to a man they have to be more than the David Cohn show.
“David’s our primary scorer in most games, but we have to be able to have other players step up and take the pressure off of him, especially with the way teams are trying to stop him,” York 6-4 junior guard Charlie Rose said.
Rose played the supporting role perfectly, drilling a huge three-pointer and scoring seven of his 10 points in the fourth quarter as the No. 15 Dukes outlasted Proviso West 63-62 in the conference opener for both schools Friday night in Hillside.
Rose splashed a three-pointer from the left wing with 4:55 remaining for a 49-47 Dukes’ lead. It followed Proviso West senior guard Lawrence Moore (17 points) scoring on a floater that gave the Panthers their first lead since 2-0.
On the ensuing possession, Rose scored on a strong drive to the basket for his own 5-0 run.
“In our offense, our coach [Vince Doran] preaches always give up a good shot to get a great shot, and we passed the ball around, for probably 30 seconds and waited for a good shot and it was there,” Rose said.
The Colorado State-bound Cohn played his typically steller game, scoring a game-high 27 points and recording four assists and three steals for the Dukes (5-1, 1-0 West Suburban Silver). Despite fouling out with just under four minutes to play, 6-8 junior forward Frank Toohey contributed eight points and grabbed eight rebounds for York.
Cohn scored eight of his total in the fourth quarter. He buried a three-pointer from the left baseline that gave the Dukes a 54-49 lead with 3:22 remaining. He used his speed and quickness to score in transition and also to play off contact in repeatedly getting to the free throw line. He converted 15-of-17 free throws, including 8-8 in the second quarter that put the Dukes up 27-24 at the break.
“I’ve learned to take what the defenses give me,” Cohn said. “I was able to drive and also play against contact.”
The host Panthers (4-1, 0-1) battled to the very end. Cohn’s all-around game and Rose’s fourth quarter were necessary to offset the Panthers’ own drive. Senior forward Taylor Watkins scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.
The Dukes were primed to make their own statement and atone for their 49-45 loss to Benet on Tuesday night.
“It was definitely a good game to come back and recover from that [Benet] game,” Cohn said. “That was the first time this year where we stuggled a little, where emotionally, we were just a little off. Tonight, we did a great job of handling the pressure of playing in a difficult gym and dealing with their size, speed and quickness.”