clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tinley Park beats Palatine, Conant wins at the buzzer and top prospects impress at York’s Jack Tosh Holiday Classic

It was quite a morning in Elmhurst. There were buzzer-beaters, upsets, close games and standout performances from highly regarded prospects. 

Tinley Park’s Tony Webb (32) shoots as the Bulldogs play Palatine at York’s Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.
Tinley Park’s Tony Webb (32) shoots as the Bulldogs play Palatine at York’s Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

It was quite a morning in Elmhurst. There were buzzer-beaters, upsets, close games and standout performances from highly regarded prospects.

The Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York officially has taken over as the best holiday tournament in the area, something that was once unthinkable. While fewer than 200 people milled around at the 60th Proviso West Holiday Tournament, a much more sizable crowd at York watched games in two gyms.

Tinley Park edged Palatine 51-47 in one of the best first-round games in the state. Senior Tony Webb, a wide-bodied, 6-5 post player, made three of his four free throws in the final 25 seconds to seal the victory.

Webb, a transfer from Westinghouse, finished with 14 points, and Nick Harrell, a transfer from Brother Rice, led the Titans (7-6) with 15 points.

Tinley Park was ranked in the preseason but has taken some lumps while playing a rugged schedule in the first month of the season. Things appear to be turning around now. The Titans knocked off Marian Catholic two weeks ago and are now into the second round at the Jack Tosh.

‘‘It’s been a process coming together,’’ Webb said. ‘‘People will start to notice us now that we are coming together. We have overcome some adversity.’’

Webb and Harrell are talented passers and scorers, and 6-5 junior Amarion Johnson is loaded with intriguing athleticism. He blocked four shots in the first half, which was clearly in Palatine’s head throughout the rest of the game.

‘‘[Johnson] does a great job closing out the corner,’’ Tinley Park coach DJ Brown said. ‘‘He can close space that most teams take for granted and think they are going to get a shot up. He’s so long, it is hard to adjust to him.’’

The Titans led throughout, but Palatine (9-3) pulled to 46-45 on a basket by sophomore Connor May with 1:36 left. Tinley Park made 5 of 6 free throws from then on to secure the victory.

‘‘Our record is deceptive,’’ Brown said. ‘‘When you look at who we played, it was Vashon, who is No. 1 in the state of Missouri, and a very good John Bosco team [from California]. We haven’t done ourselves any favors, schedule-wise. But that’s the point of having a talented team: We don’t want to shy away from any competition.’’

Junior Grant Dersnah led the Pirates with 13 points and six rebounds, and May and junior Tyler Swierczek each scored 12 points.

Tinley Park advanced to face Lake Forest in the second round Tuesday. The Scouts (8-2) beat Hinsdale South 72-52 in the first round. Asa Thomas, generally considered to be the top junior in the state, scored 24 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Garrett Bolte was an eye-opener for the Hornets (4-6). The 6-5 senior had 30 points and 10 rebounds. He showed post skills and was 4-for-5 from three-point range.

The top performance in the morning session came from Lemont sophomore Nojus Indrusaitis. He finished with 32 points and nine rebounds while shooting 9-for-14 from the field and 4-for-7 from three-point range in Lemont’s 75-50 victory against Timothy Christian.

Indrusaitis is one of the top five sophomores in the state.

The best finish of the day came in an upset. Conant senior Colin Francia made a three-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Cougars a 48-45 victory against St. Ignatius.

Francia and Camden Lathos each scored 12 points and Yusuf Cisse 11 for Conant (8-3). The Cougars will face Lyons in the second round Tuesday.

It wasn’t all good news at York, however. Downers Grove South and Solorio dropped out of the tournament because of COVID. Nearly two dozen local teams have dropped out of holiday tournaments this week.

Francia and Camden Lathos each scored 12 points and Yusuf Cisse 11 for Conant (8-3). The Cougars will face Lyons in the second round Tuesday.

It wasn’t all good news at York, however. Downers Grove South and Solorio dropped out of the tournament because of COVID. Nearly two dozen local teams have dropped out of holiday tournaments this week.