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De La Salle advances to championship round of Catholic League Tournament

02/19/2014, 9:45pm CST
By Logan Malloy

Despite entering the Chicago Catholic League Tournament with a .500 record, De La Salle punched its ticket to the championship round with a balanced 51-47 victory Wednesday night over visiting Fenwick.

It’s no Cinderella story for De La Salle. The Meteors are a little too talented for that.

Despite entering the Chicago Catholic League Tournament with a .500 record, De La Salle punched its ticket to the championship round with a balanced 51-47 victory Wednesday night over visiting Fenwick.

Karl Harris scored a game-high 13 points, Martez Cameron chipped in 12 and Brandon Hutton did a little bit of everything, netting 10 points, three steals and two blocks for the Meteors. For Hutton, the team’s recent rise has been catalyzed by altruistic play.

“At the beginning of the season, we were kinda selfish and a little young,” Hutton said. “Everyone wanted to get theirs. After that, we came together as a team and started to gel.”

De La Salle’s 12-10 record is also a bit deceiving.

“I think we’ve played 12 ranked teams and three national (ranked) teams,” De La Salle coach Tom White said.

Fenwick was another. The Friars (18-8) opened the game with an 8-0 lead, but struggled to get into transition in the second half as De La Salle controlled the glass to mount a comeback.

“We started the second half ridiculously soft,” Fenwick coach Rick Malnati said. “And they had some kids step up for them.”

Sophomore Mike Smith led Fenwick with 11 points and Keshaun Smith added 10. Fenwick’s 6-foot-8 Dan Dwyer, fresh of his best game of the season in an upset over St. Rita, battled foul trouble and finished with six points.

After trailing by three at halftime, De La Salle took its biggest lead of the game on a fourth-quarter three-pointer from Aaron Jones for a 40-32 advantage. But Fenwick’s Scott Lindsey, a Northwestern recruit, answered with his first points of the game on a three of his own.

Lindsey finished with nine points, scoring all in the final 5:49, but Harris went 6-for-6 from the line to lead De La Salle in the closing minutes. The Meteors were calm under fire, milking the clock and sinking 8-of-10 free throws in the final frame.

De La Salle will meet Mount Carmel 7 p.m. Saturday at Chicago State for the Catholic League Tournament title.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was among those in attendance.

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