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Hinsdale Central is a team of interchangeable parts eager to put everything together. “Our coach (Nick Latorre) said it’s time for us to make a run,” senior guard Brian Owens said.
In its first game of the new year, the Red Devils looked to make their move, showcasing their size, depth and skill as host Hinsdale Central methodically took apart Oswego East with its 58-46 victory in a nonconference game Tuesday night in Hinsdale.
Senior forward Rigas Pappas scored a season-high 17 points and emerging 6-7 sophomore star Matt Rafferty dominated the interior by posting a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Red Devils.
Pappas scored 13 points in the second half. He scored Hinsdale Central’s first and last basket of the first half as the Red Devils grabbed the early momentum by scoring the first six points of the game.
The Red Devils (8-6) overwhelmed the Wolves with their size and depth. Different players alternated dominating stretches of the game. Senior guard Jared Eck scored all eight of his points in the first quarter.
Owens scored seven consecutive points in the second quarter that fueled a 9-2 run that pushed the Red Devils to a 10-point second quarter advantage. “He does a great job directing their offense,” Oswego East coach Ron Murphy said. “We were able to speed him up a couple of times but it was not something we could sustain for the whole game.”
Owens made the Wolves pay for their aggressive trapping. He had five assists and three steals. His three-pointer put helped put the Red Devils up 26-18 at the break. “They a left me open and the shot was there,” Owens said. He finished with nine points.
Pappas scored the first two baskets of the third quarter in scoring six points. “My teammates really did a great job of looking for me and getting me the ball where I could score, either in transition or on put backs,” Pappas said.
Junior guard Chase Hamilton drilled a three-pointer that sparked an 11-3 run for a commanding 43-30 lead to start the fourth quarter.
The rapidly-improving Rafferty controlled the paint with three blocked shots and the double-figure rebounds. His three-point play in the fourth quarter ended the Wolves’ final push to stage their own comeback.
Oswego East star senior guard CJ Vaughn did everything in his power to make the game competitive. He scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the first half. “It’s frustrating because we are playing hard, but we created that deficit at the start and we had to play catch up the rest of the night,” he said. “We are having too many mental lapses.”
Senior guard Tyler Ross scored all 10 of his points in the second half for the Wolves (3-10).