Boys Basketball: Oswego handles Plainfield North
By Bob Reynolds For Sun-Times Media February 16, 2013 12:30AM
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:43AM
It was clear from the start that on Senior Night nothing was going to stop the celebration of the Oswego seniors and the outstanding season they have orchestrated.
The Panthers never trailed and although their shooting was off in the first half their effort never wavered in a 65-46 victory over No. 6 Plainfield North. For the Southwest Prairie Conference champs it was their 15th straight victory and provided a chance for a perfect conference season with a win Thursday at Romeoville.
Seniors Darion Reddick, Miles Simelton and Elliott McGaughy combined for 41 points. They had help from several teammates also in their final home game — Jack Kwiatkowski, Jamaal Richardson, Josh Oros and Danny Mangers.
Showing the value of veteran leadership, Oswego (25-2, 13-0) put on a display of unselfish basketball. Seemingly every possession on offense a Panther would penetrate to the interior of the Tigers defense, then kick it out to an open shooter behind the arc.
Oswego put up 30 shots from behind the arc, made 11 of them and more important stretched the Plainfield North defense. For the game, the Panthers connected on 21-of-54 shots from the field. Their defense created 20 turnovers and forced the Tigers into a number of hurried shots.
“Our kids are not afraid to get after it defensively,” Oswego coach Kevin Schnable said. “I feel like we played both a fast game and a physical game. I just like how we guarded tonight, and we crashed the boards well especially on the offensive end.”
After the Tigers (12-13, 9-4) had crept to within 44-34 early in the fourth period, the hammer came down. On three straight trips the Panthers drained threes. Reddick knocked one down on a feed from Oros. Sophomore Zach West (11 points, three three-pointers) then drained a pair of long ones, the second off an inside-out assist from McGaughy.
In a span of 53 seconds, the lead had grown to 53-36 and the outcome was settled.
“It’s hard to simulate that kind of quickness in practice,” Plainfield North coach Nick DiForti said. “I do think our guys battled, but every time we’d cut it to single digits they’d come back and hit a big three.”
The Panthers made clear early on what their approach would be. Reddick, Simelton, West and Kwiatkowski (7 points) all hit three-pointers in the first period to help Oswego to a 15-7 lead. The Panthers would go on to lead several times by 13 points.
“We almost came out with too much adrenalin, bricking a bunch of long shots in the first half,” Schnable said. “But once we started using that adrenalin to our advantage by attacking and driving, the game changed.”
Reddick made five of his 10 shots, including three treys, to lead all scorers with 15 points. He also pulled down seven rebounds in the physical contest that saw 41 fouls.
Simelton also hit three shots from behind the arc and finished with 14 points. McGaughy chipped in 12 points and six boards for Oswego.
With four players in double figures, Schnable likes his team’s chances in the postseason.
“That makes us hard to guard when we have good balance,” Schnable said. “Hopefully, we have some scouts scratching their heads — who do we key on?”
For Plainfield North, which had its seven-game winning streak halted, Kurt Palandech led the way with 11 points and Marcus Fair added nine points.