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Oswego East's Tyler Ross eyes a basket against Oswego at Oswego East High School in Oswego, Ill., on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
They may be winless in seven games, but an unheralded Oswego East team gave crosstown rival and 12th-ranked Oswego all it could handle in Tuesday’s 42-38 Panther win.
Neither team shot particularly well as each made just 15 of 48 (31 percent) shots from the floor. Oswego was just 1-of-13 from beyond the arc but won it at the free throw line.
Told that his team made just 7 of 17 from the line while the visitors connected on 11 of 21, Oswego East coach Ron Murphy said, “Wish you hadn’t told me that. That’s the difference, right there.”
Oswego jumped to a 10-0 lead to open the game as the Wolves struggled to take care of the ball. But despite seven Oswego East turnovers in each of the first two quarters, Oswego led just 19-16 at the half.
“We got punched in the face, dug ourselves a big hole,” Murphy said. “They’re a good team, capable of making runs like that and they had another in the second half but it was important to respond and we did.”
East had the ball, trailing by three with 16 seconds left. Leading scorer C.J. Vaughan took it down low and put up a shot that missed. The 6-foot-2 guard grabbed his 14th rebound of the game and put up another shot, trying to draw contact but had it blocked by Oswego guard Jamaal Richardson.
Darion Reddick grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made one of two free throws with 8.3 seconds left to account for the final margin.
“To a degree, we did what we wanted with the game,” said Murphy. “We chopped it up and tried to keep them from getting out in transition because they’re so good in transition. We put ourselves in position to be close at the end and if we could have gotten a shot to fall, who knows?”
Vaughan led the Wolves with 10 points, Tyler Ross added nine and Kendall Dorsey had eight.
Senior guard Elliott McGaughy led all scorers with 22 points and was the lone Panther to reach double digits in the spacious gym that
always seems to give Oswego fits.
“I don’t know what it is with shooting here,” said McGaughy. “Sometimes the shot falls, sometimes it doesn’t. A gym is a gym. We should be able to make shots anywhere.”
Miles Simelton was held to eight points.
“We wanted to challenge them and make them work for their points,” said Murphy.