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York’s Nate Shockey (10) and York’s Hassan Iqbal (32) celebrate. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

“Christmas miracle” leads host Dukes to York championship

SHARE “Christmas miracle” leads host Dukes to York championship
SHARE “Christmas miracle” leads host Dukes to York championship

Words were unnecessary after York’s 55-52 victory against Downers Grove South in the title game of the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament in Elmhurst on Monday. The host Dukes’ effort and determination was on full display all over the court. Players battled through injuries and skidded across the floor for loose balls.

Guard Nate Shockey gutted out an ankle injury to score 17 points, including two crucial free throws with 29 seconds remaining.

“[Shockey playing] was a Christmas miracle,” York coach Vince Doran said. “When Shockey went down [in Saturday’s game] thought he broke his ankle. He said he heard a crack.”

Shockey texted Doran on Monday and said he’d be able to play. Doran didn’t believe him.

“When he came here and was walking around I thought maybe he could play,” Doran said. “He really gutted it out. I can’t believe he played and played the way he did.”

“I got it taped up, threw a brace on it and I just sucked it up I guess,” Shockey said.

Then there is 6-5 Sam Walsh. The big senior went totally horizontal at one point, leaping across half court for a loose ball.

“It hurt a little,” Walsh said. “I wanted to win this thing, I would do whatever.”

Shockey scored 17 points and Walsh had 15 points and seven rebounds. The Dukes focused on feeding Walsh in the post throughout the game. The Mustangs’ tallest starter is 6-2.

“Sam was great,” Doran said. “We wouldn’t have won one game without him. He’s an old school post that creates so much attention. It creates a lot of open shots for his teammates.”

Erik Cohn scored 11 and Nick Kosich added 10 for the Dukes (14-1).

Downers Grove South (9-5) had a chance to tie it at the end. Timmeon Gamble’s three-pointer just before the buzzer went in and out.

“I couldn’t ever process [what was happening],” Walsh said. “Watching it from under the hoop it looked good and I got a little nervous. But it came out and I secured it. Just a great feeling.”

Wes Hooker led the Mustangs with 20 points and Justin Eagins added 12. Gamble scored 11. Downers Grove South started the season just 1-4 but had won eight consecutive games.

“Obviously I’m disappointed we didn’t win but our kids have been wonderful for the last six weeks,” Mustangs coach Kris Olson said. “They have really committed to great practice habits and the defensive end.”

Hooker was 4 for 4 from three-point range and Eagins, one of the area’s best shooters, was 4 for 12.

“When Eagins is on the floor you never feel safe,” Doran said.

The Jack Tosh Tournament is the state’s only 32-team holiday tournament. York knocked off Andrew, Stagg, St. Ignatius and St. Laurence to advance to the title game.

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to be the most unselfish team in York history and they are headed that way,” Doran said. “They care about winning, not individual accolades and it is fun to coach kids like that.”

The Dukes previously won the tournament in 1979, 1980, 2012 and 2015.

“It was an exciting finish,” Doran said. “Downers South is a class act. It is kind of what our tournament is all about. It was a really good high school basketball game and could have gone either way.”

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