Prep Basketball: Hononegah hangs on to top Boylan
By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
A week after Rockton Hononegah Indians Head Coach Mike Miller said his team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a regular-season-ending overtime loss at Rockford East, the Indians appeared poised to do so again in the IHSA 4A regional semifinals against Rockford Boylan Catholic.
Faulty free-throw shooting down the strech, including two misses by Jacob Doyle with 11 seconds left in the game, left Hononegah clinging to a 1-point lead.
But a desperate Adonis Brown 3-point attempt for Boylan fell short, and the Indians moved on to face the host Rockford Auburn Knights in the finals Friday, March 2.
“We can’t stray from fundamentals because we’re not blessed with size,” Miller said. “We better do things right, and we did just enough of them right to play one more game.”
The late near-collapse almost overshadowed a great performance by Jack Granath for Hononegah. The junior forward faced the massive Boylan front line and scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, helping Hononegah outrebound the Titans.
“He’s probably one of the top two or three rebounders I’ve had here at Hononegah,” Miller said of Granath. “He has a nose for the ball and he goes and gets it. He’s been great all year, but he really was tonight.”
Brock Stull did his best to keep Boylan alive, scoring 12 points, including a late 3. Brown struggled for the Titans, only hitting two shots and one free throw on his way to 7 points.
The Indians face a tall task in the regional final Friday, March 2. Auburn only lost one conference game all season, but the lone team to top them was Hononegah.
“We know it’s possible,” Miller said. “We know that if we do things that we’re capable of we can compete with anybody in the state. We’re going to have to do a lot of things right Friday, but we’re happy as heck to get that chance.”
Posted March 1, 2012
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