O’Brien: Homewood-Flossmoor takes Marian Catholic’s best punch

SHARE O’Brien: Homewood-Flossmoor takes Marian Catholic’s best punch

Homewood-Flossmoor’s Cameron Bowles is going to be sitting at Thanksgiving dinner with a shiner.

The 6-5 junior had the start of a nice black eye after the Vikings beat No. 9 Marian Catholic 56-48 on Wednesday in the Chicago Heights Classic.

“We knew coming in it would be physical,” Bowles said. “They are bigger than us, but that doesn’t mean anything. We had more heart. I had to box out, get aggressive and play the man’s game.”

Bowles had 13 points and six rebounds. It was just his third varsity game and the sold-out crowd was something new.

“Everyone was real loud and into it and the place was packed,” Bowles said. “I had never experienced that. But you have to clear out your mind. You can’t buy into the crowd. Your team needs you and you have to focus on your own game.”

Aside from star wide receiver Kendric Pryor (12 points, four rebounds), most of the Vikings are new to varsity. That may explain Monday’s loss to TF South.

“That first Monday game you don’t know what to expect from your team,” Homewood-Flossmoor coach Marc Condotti said. “You can’t go in with a real plan, you don’t know how your guys are going to react. It was the first varsity game for a lot of them and they kinda froze.”

That team was nowhere to be found on Wednesday. The Vikings played hard and smart from the tip. Junior point guard Trelan Morrow set the tone. He scored 12 points and was a commanding floor presence.

“I came out with a lot of confidence, trying to pump my team up and play like a point guard and take over the game,” Morrow said. “Our heads weren’t screwed on right Monday. We just laid down, thought it would be a cakewalk and they ran right over us.”

Jeffrey Boyd, another junior, was the other major force for Homewood-Flossmoor (2-1). The wing scored 11 and grabbed four rebounds.

Marian Catholic (2-1) struggled from the start. Highly-regarded sophomore guards Chase Adams (two points) and Brandon Hurt (six points, six rebounds) never found any flow. Myles Howard, a 6-7 senior, was a shot-changer in the post but junior Austin Richie was the only scoring threat. The 6-5 junior showcased a dynamic, strong game, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field.

Spartans coach Mike Taylor, disgusted, pulled his starters with 1:55 to play and his team trailing 56-45.

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