East continues magical run with win over North
By Matt Nestor
It is not exactly a worst-to-first story for the East E-Rabs, but they had been a conference doormat for years.
But after a 16-11 regular season, including a fourth-place conference finish at 8-8, the E-Rabs can add IHSA Class 3A Regional Champion to their list of accomplishments this season.
Against Belvidere North, the E-Rabs trailed early and for much of the game. The Blue Thunder led by 7 after the first, 4 at halftime and by 5 entering the fourth quarter.
But East fought back behind Steve McNease, Alonte Holliday and Javon Henderson to outscore North 16-7 in the final quarter to pull out a 67-63 victory.
McNease scored 18 to lead East, while Holliday and Henderson both scored 16. Darshawn Pumphrey-King also chipped in 11.
Belvidere North’s Jake Boxleitner led all scorers with 22 points. East was, however, able to hold the Blue Thunder’s leading scorer, Brandon Schwebke, to 8 points.
East will have a tall order in the sectional semifinals at Woodstock North Tuesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. They will face Crystal Lake Central, who defeated Aurora Marmion to win their first regional title since 1998.
The Tigers have won 11 straight games including the regionals and are 24-4 on the season.
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