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Oswego East used its defensive pressure to spark a 15-7 run over the opening four minutes of the second half en route to a hard-fought 69-64 victory Friday night over host Plainfield East in the Southwest Prairie.
C.J. Vaughn scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting for Oswego East (8-10, 5-3). Teammates Tyler Ross and Manny Contreras added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Aaron Jordan led Plainfield East (8-11, 5-3) with 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting, including 4-of-6 three-pointers, and Roger Tating added 18 points.
“We know that when we defend well, that we keep ourselves in ballgames,” Oswego East coach Ron Murphy said.
Oswego East also made a commitment to rebound aggressively and get to the free throw line in the second half of the game. For the game, the Wolves out-rebounded Plainfield East 30-22 and attempted 33 free throws to just 13 for the Bengals.
A Jordan three-pointer gave the Bengals an early 8-7 lead with 1:52 left in the opening quarter, however Oswego East led 12-8 after one.
A Vaughn jumper with fifty seconds left in the half gave the Wolves a 23-21 halftime lead.
“If my shots aren’t falling, I’m going to try and get my teammates involved. But I felt good and we played hard tonight,” Vaughn said.
The Oswego East lead grew to as many as 12 before the Bengals made a late surge in the fourth quarter. A Tating trey cut to the Wolves' lead to 60-58 with 1:35 left in the game, however Oswego East converted 9-of-12 free throws down the stretch to earn the victory.
“Their [Oswego East] big defensive pressure forced us into some poor decision making, but we battled back to within two but just couldn’t get over the hump,” Plainfield East coach Branden Adkins said.