Having played the entire game up to that point, Riverside-Brookfield’s Will Kincanon got a well-deserved if quick rest early in the fourth quarter Friday.
When the senior guard took the court again, it’s safe to say he came back fresh and ready to go.
Kincanon scored 13 of his 23 points, including the game-winning three-pointer, to lead Riverside-Brookfield to a dramatic 69-66 win at its own tournament over Brother Rice.
“Coach (Tom McCloskey) said I needed to stay aggressive on the offensive end,” Kincanon said. “I tried to take it into my own hands and get the basket. The crowd went nuts on the three so that was big, and it was a lot of fun.”
Jack VandeMerkt scored 20 points for R-B (2-1) with Daniko Jackson adding nine points.
Kincanon’s fourth-quarter heroics came as a necessity with the Bulldogs seeing Brother Rice go up as by many as 10 points, 62-52 with 3:28 to go in the fourth.
The senior took advantage of Rice’s foul trouble, hitting 6-of-9 free throws in the fourth, while also scoring inside twice. There was no doubt about his biggest contribution though, a three-pointer from the left wing in front of R-B’s student section that put the Bulldogs up 66-65 with 1:48 remaining.
“I was feeling it a little after getting into the lane and the free throws,” Kincanon said. “I hadn’t taken many threes, but I knew we were down. Right when it left my hand, I knew it was good.”
Kincanon scored 13 of R-B’s 17 points during an extended stretch in the fourth.
Kevin Fitzgerald hit three-of-four free throws and Sam Johnson split a pair to ice the game in the final minute while Brother Rice (1-2) missed two inside chances and a three-pointer late.
Ray Rubio’s 24 points sparked the Crusaders with Quinn Niego adding 19 points of his own in the losing effort.
“Playing in front of the home crowd, we knew they were coming with a run,” Brother Rice coach Rick Harrigan said. “Sometimes your natural reaction with a lead is to back off, play more conservative, especially on the road, so I’ll tell them we have to stay aggressive and learn from those mistakes.”