ALGONQUIN – Cary-Grove did not think an up-tempo, high-scoring game with South Elgin to be to its advantage, but once the Trojans were thriving in that style, coming up short was hard to swallow.
“We had a good tournament, but it’s a little bittersweet,” guard Tyler Szydlo said. “We should have won that game.”
South Elgin rallied from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit and held off the Trojans, 83-80, in overtime to win the Consolation A bracket at Jacobs’ Hinkle Holiday Classic on Saturday at the Eagles’ Nest.
The Storm (8-6) scored 29 points in the fourth quarter to force the extra period, then started overtime with three 3-pointers, which was more than C-G (6-7) could overcome.
C-G’s Jason Gregoire tied his career-high from three games earlier with 36 points and finished with 128 points for the five tournament games, which led all players. Gregoire hit 12 of 17 field goals and 8 of 10 free throws for his total.
“I’m really proud of how we came together as a team here,” said Gregoire, who made the all-tournament team. “They did a good job making us play their style, and we didn’t force them enough to play our style. We cracked a little under their pressure and didn’t finish the way we should have.”
C-G had 13 turnovers for the game, but six of those came in the crucial fourth quarter as the Storm roared back.
The Trojans shot 65.1 percent from the field (28 of 43) and hit 10 3-pointers. Gregoire had four 3s and reserve forward Mike Krich had three.
“It shouldn’t have gotten to overtime,” Trojans coach Ralph Schuetzle said. “We haven’t seen pressure like that in a long, long time.”
Szydlo finished with 19 points and hit 7 of 10 field goals, while Michael Coleman, Justin Blair and Jimmy Perkins also added 3s.
“We haven’t come close to scoring 80 points, so that was unfamiliar territory,” Szydlo said. “We just lost control a little bit in the fourth quarter. I’m definitely pleased with our tournament, we’re improved a lot since the first game here.”
Guard Matt Smith led the Storm with 28 points and four 3s, but none of his points were bigger than the two free throws he hit with 2.5 seconds remaining in regulation. He was fouled after an offensive rebound and tied the score at 69 to force overtime.
“[Smith] was doing everything he could to win that game,” Storm coach Matt Petersen said. “In huddles he was yelling at everybody and firing them up to win. We need that out of our leader. Our defensive energy and pressure was great. That effort was incredible.”