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Homewood-Flossmoor's Dorian McCraney lays in a shot against Libertyville. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media
Homewood-Flossmoor coach Jim McLaughlin was desperate to find a shooter who was willing to step up and put the team’s burden on himself.
Dorian McCraney accepted the challenge.
The 5-9 Vikings’ senior guard hit four crucial three-pointers and scored all 16 of his points in the second half as Homewood-Flossmoor forced overtime with an 11-1 run and rode McCraney’s hot hand to close out Libertyville 62-54 in the opening game of the Proviso West tournament Saturday in Hillside.
McCraney was the spark plug who also recorded three assists and two steals.
“The coach was waiting for somebody to hit just one [three-pointer],” he said.
“The team was looking at me, and I thought, I had to step up for my team.” He drilled two three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The second from the top of the key with just over two minutes remaining keyed the 11-0 explosion that negated Libertyville’s 45-35 fourth quarter advantage. Senior center Tai Odiase’s leaner in the lane gave the Vikings their first lead at 46-45.
Libertyville’s senior forward Steven Braun split two free throws with 1:25 yielded the game’s first tie.
McCraney’s sustained his hot hand in the overtime. His three-pointer from the left wing marked the final lead change, 52-50. “I knew the ball was coming back to me,” he said. “I swung it once and it came back, and I knew my team was looking for me there.”
Odiase threw down a monster dunk to give the Vikings’ their largest lead, 59-54, with just over a minute to play. Odiase added eight points.
Junior swingman Destin Barnes scored season-highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Vikings (6-3), who trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half. “At first we didn’t play our game,” Barnes said.
“We didn’t come with the defensive energy we needed or we didn’t crash the boards.”
Libertyville (5-4) rode the hot shooting of reserve guard Conor Peterson in running out to the 14-point first half lead. Peterson scored 13 points on 4-for-4 shooting, in just six minutes of play. Peterson and frontcourt players Braun and 6-8 Joe Borcia shot a combined 10-for-10 in the first half, as the Wildcats shot 63 percent (12-for-19) in leading 32-20 at the break.
Libertyville shot just 7-for-27 in the second half and managed just 14 points in the third and fourth quarters combined as turnovers hurt the Wildcats.
Homewood-Flossmoor forced 11 Liberytville turnovers in the second half, and 19 for the game. “We knew as long as put them on their heels and forced pressure, the game was in our favor,” Barnes said.
Braun finished with 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Wildcats. Peterson was limited to just two second half points and he finished with 15 points. Borcia added seven points and nine rebounds.
“They went to that full court pressure and we didn’t handle it very well,” Libertville coach Scott Bogumil said. “During that run they had, we missed a layup, we missed a couple of free throws and we didn’t contest that wide open three-pointer [McCraney] hit.
“In the overtime, we were just chasing them too much.”