A phantom point went on the scoreboard after the first quarter of the Hillcrest vs. Homewood-Flossmoor game Saturday in Flossmoor. Unfortunately, that point proved to be the ultimate difference in the Vikings’ 69-68 win over the Hawks.
“Our book didn’t have (the extra point for Homewood-Flossmoor),” said Hillcrest coach Don Houston. “It’s unfortunate the game came down to one point. I’ve never experienced that.”
Two reporters scoring the game had the same score as the Hillcrest scorekeeper. The Hawks did have several opportunities to win the game, regardless of the scoring error. Hillcrest senior Myles McCoy missed two free throws with 12 seconds to play and then he lost the ball on the Hawks’ final possession as time expired.
“Myles is a senior,” said Houston. “He will bounce back.”
Destin Barnes played hero for the Vikings (11-7). The 6-3 senior nailed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to provide the final margin.
“It’s a shot I always practice,” said Barnes. “I stepped into it and took the shot.”
Barnes scored 19 and grabbed six rebounds. Junior Kendric Pryor led Homewood-Flossmoor with 21 points and seven rebounds.
No. 15 Hillcrest dominated the first quarter and built a 22-11 lead. The Vikings never had a big run, but slowly clawed their way back into the game, tying it on a three from Barnes with 3:57 to play in the third quarter. Barnes hit another three with 3:02 to play in the third to give Homewood-Flossmoor its first lead.
Hillcrest turned the ball over 17 times. The Vikings utilized a full court press defense for most the game.
“We didn’t think they would expect that,” said Barnes. “Gave them a taste of their own medicine.”
Terrence Bradley added 10 points and Caleb Jenkins-Brady scored six and grabbed six rebounds for Homewood-Flossmoor.
Marcus Garrett has moved into the starting lineup for Hillcrest (15-5). The promising sophomore is playing with a ton of confidence after an impressive debut at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament in December. Garrett scored 13 points and grabbed four boards.
Senior DeAngelo Isby led the Hawks with 19 points and nine rebounds. Taylor Adway added 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and Cornelius McIntosh chipped in with 13 points off the bench.
“Pressure never bothers us,” said Houston. “Today we didn’t move the ball like we usually do.”
It’s the biggest win of the season for Homewood-Flossmoor and first-year coach Marc Condotti. The Vikings have played a high-level schedule and have lost to a host of ranked teams.
“It’s definitely the biggest win of the season,” said Pryor. “But we aren’t done yet. We still have a lot to work on.”