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NIles - James Stoll Northridge takes a fade away jump shot. Class AA Regional Tournament pits North Shore County Day School against Northridge Prep High School. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
The third time turned out to be the charm for North Shore, which finally defeated Northridge, 41-37, to capture the Class 2A Northridge Regional championship.
After struggling early, the Raiders came out strong in the second half, scoring the first seven points of the third quarter. Senior forward Floris Hondmann began the period by putting back his own missed layup to help North Shore to a 20-18 lead.
Austin Curren, who led all scorers with 23 pointers, followed with a three-pointer and an outstanding short jumper to put the Raiders up seven. On the final basket of the run, Curren actually leapt from just inside the baseline, but maneuvered through the air until he finally could get an angle at the basket. That’s when he released his jumper.
The Raiders never trailed in the second half. The Knights drew within two on a pretty post move by senior forward James Stoll with about three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and again made it a one-possession game with 6.5 seconds remaining as sophomore guard Dylan Haig knocked down two shots from the charity stripe. Curren responded with a free throw of his own though, sealing the result for the Raiders.
“It feels pretty good, because I’ve played this team for four years and it’s always a tough environment and they always make you earn it,” Curren said. “They’re probably one of the most fundamentally sound teams I’ve ever played against. They get the most out of their players and they always give us a tough time. Every possession really counts with them.”
With its win on Friday, North Shore will move on to the River Grove (Guerin) Sectional, where it will take on Parker, which defeated Alcott, 52-48, on Friday night. The two teams, which split their regular-season series, will square off on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.. North Shore last faced Parker on February 12. The Raiders came out on top, 66-50.