High school basketball shootouts like the Team Rose Classic, held Sunday at Morton College in Cicero, are all about star power and big-time matchups.
So the inclusion of Crete-Monee may have confused some fans. Evanston has highly-regarded sophomore Nojel Eastern, but why were the Warriors invited?
It didn’t take long to find out: Crete-Monee sophomore Dwayne Rose is Derrick Rose’s nephew. The 6-2 guard had a successful debut, scoring 15 points in the Warriors’ 76-71 overtime victory.
“I just came out and played the best I could, I didn’t worry about comparisons,” Rose said. “I’m proud of him and he’s proud of me.”
Crete-Monee entered the game with a 2-2 record after losing to Thornridge and Plainfield North.
“I thought we would be pretty good this year,” Warriors coach Tom Cappel said. “We just came out and played kind of crappy in a couple games.”
The team Cappel envisioned started to arrive Sunday. Unknowns Jeremiah Matthews (24 points) and Tyler Williams (21 points, five rebounds) gave Evanston fits.
Eastern (29 points, nine rebounds) sent the game to overtime by making two free throws with 0.7 seconds to play.
Matthews opened the overtime with a three and then Rose converted a steal and layup as the Warriors (3-2) cruised through the extra four minutes. Crete-Monee shot 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in overtime.
“We are definitely good at free throw shooting,” Cappel said. “That can win you some games.”