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Chris Galbreath Jr. wanted to make a statement. “Everybody knows about Brother Rice, and we’re an up-and-coming program and we just wanted to come out and show we can play with other elite teams,” the DuSable senior forward said.
The 6-6 star engineered a stunning upset by scoring 12 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and recording a crucial late steal as DuSable ousted the fourth-seeded Crusaders 55-53 in a Class 4A regional semifinal at St. Rita Tuesday night.
The upstart Panthers advance to meet the winner of the St. Rita/Kenwood game for Friday’s regional championship.
Galbreath Jr. was electrifying in the final quarter, scoring repeatedly on drives to the basket as Brother Rice was unable to contain him off the dribble. He scored the Panthers’ first 10 points of the fourth quarter. “I just knew we needed to score baskets, and I wanted to go out there and be a leader for my team,” Galbreath said.
His twisting drive produced a three-point play with 3:05 to play that gave the Panthers (13-10) a 48-47 lead they never relinquished. It was the fifth and final lead change of the fourth quarter as Galbreath dueled Brother Rice star Alex Majewski.
Demetrius Pointer (eight points) scored on a drive for a four-point Panthers’ lead with just over a minute to play. Guard Isaac Buford also scored eight points for the Panthers.
Majewski scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Take away his 9-for-13 shooting from the floor, and the rest of the Crusaders shot just 10-of-30 from the floor. Brother Rice shot just 33 percent (7-for-21) in falling behind 28-24 at the break.
“We played terrible in the first half,” Majewski said. “I just don’t think we came out ready to play. In the fourth quarter, it went back and forth, but it seemed like we could never sustain a lead. Every time we went up one, they’d come right back and score.”
DuSable survived despite shooting just 8-for-19 at the free throw line. The Panthers shot just 4-for-11 in the fourth quarter but compensated by forcing seven Brother Rice turnovers in the decisive fourth quarter.
Brother Rice (20-6) turned the ball over on four of its first five possessions of the fourth quarter.
Guard Quinn Niego was the only other Crusader to reach double figures, with 11 points. His three-pointer with 19 seconds remaining turned the ball into a one-possession game.
Galbreath’s final basket came on an inbounds play with just over 16 seconds left, giving DuSable the 55-52 lead.
Brother Rice had a chance to force overtime, down two points after DuSable missed two free throws. But Galbreath stripped a Brother Rice guard with three seconds to play.
He missed the two free throws, but Brother Rice had a desperation attempt and Pointer’s deflection ended the game. “I just saw the ball was loose and I just made a play on the ball,” Galbreath said of the steal.
“I challenged Chris to come out and play a great game at the offensive and defensive end,” DuSable coach Theo Williams said. “He doesn’t always play at the defensive end because he gets too concerned about picking up fouls, but he made the plays tonight.”
DuSable reached the Class 3A supersectionals last year. “Last year was a completely different group,” Williams said. “Brother Rice was tough on the boards and they were probably the most disciplined team we played this year.
“It’s a great win.”