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Maine South out-grits Niles North for CSL title

02/20/2013, 11:00pm CST
By Michael O’Brien mobrien@suntimes.com

Frank Dounis and John Solari both fought through injuries to lead No. 17 Maine South to a 64-61 double-overtime win over No. 13 Niles North in Wednesday’s CSL championship game.

Maine South senior Frank Dounis officially has his go-to high school sports moment of glory.

The 6-2 senior was knocked out, literally, late in the fourth quarter of the Central Suburban League championship game bteween No. 13 Niles North and No. 17 Maine South Wednesday in Park Ridge.

“We were running a play and the next thing I know a Niles North guy is just coming down on me,” Dounis said. “I think it was a dirty play, he hit me with his hand and nails. I blacked out for awhile. Next thing I knew I was on the bench.”

The play happened with 2:07 left in regulation. No one expected to hear from Dounis again.

But there he was, back in the game and slicing through traffic for a coast-to-coast game-tying layup with one second to play.

“There was no way I was missing that game,” Dounis said. “I just took a couple minutes for the blackout to go away.”

“My teammates do a great job of spacing the floor and I was able to make a move and get by my defender.”

Dounis’ layup sent the game into overtime. He drained four of four free throws to help send the game into double-overtime. Then his basket with 2:46 to play in double-overtime helped seal the 64-61 win for Maine South over the Vikings.

Dounis finished with 20 points, his tough man act overshadowed teammate John Solari, who scored 23 and grabbed six rebounds.

Solari suffered a cut to the forehead early in the game and missed most of the first quarter while the bleeding was stopped. He ended up changing jerseys and donning a headband.

The burly, 6-4 Dayton-bound tight end wasn’t fazed a bit, scoring six points in a 11-0 Maine South run as soon as he returned to the game late in the first quarter.

“Our team is tough,” Dounis said. “We fight for each other and we aren’t selfish. We are just out here to win for each other.”

Maine South senior Danny Quinn made it through the game without incident, filling up the stat sheet with nine points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.

Niles North just couldn’t handle the size of the Hawks (26-3), getting outboarded 30-14.

JJ Myles led the Vikings (24-4) with 18 points, Malachi Nix scored 17 and BJ Beckford added 16 points and four rebounds.

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