When he was younger, Dom Adduci played baseball before turning his attention to basketball.
He combined the two sports and provided one of the most memorable moments of the 2012 Proviso West Holiday Tournament last week.
With 1.6 seconds left and St. Charles East deadlocked with Glenbard East in a quarterfinal game in the sixth-place bracket, Adduci played the role of center fielder and ran under Glenbard East’s long inbound pass.
The junior then let his basketball instincts take over. After he caught it near half court, he took one dribble and launched a shot that banked in and gave the Saints a 64-61 win.
“I used to play baseball around seventh grade,” Adduci said. “I just knew it was coming right to me and I needed to make a play for it. When I grabbed it I knew I had to get it off.
The buzzer-beater set off a wild celebration that saw Adduci sprint from the court all the way to the fieldhouse wall as the Saints’ bench emptied and chased him down.
“I’ve never had anything like this, and it was just kind of shocking,” Adduci said. “Especially the length of the shot, I was shocked when it went in, especially for the win. It was awesome.”
The win over Glenbard East also gave East (9-4) a glimpse of life without Kendall Stephens.
The Purdue-bound senior, nursing a torn labrum in his right shoulder since the season got underway, got knocked around in the Saints’ tournament loss to Stevenson and sat out the Glenbard East game with shoulder soreness. But topping the Rams perfectly illustrated what East coach Pat Woods has been telling his team all season.
“We talked about the Kendall thing in the past because we didn’t know his status early on in the season, but as I told them today we have enough talent in our locker room to win with or without Kendall, and we proved it tonight,” Woods said. “We have a lot of kids with a lot of ability, so I kind of expect us to compete at that level.”
The sweet-shooting Stephens also sat out East’s tournament finale against St. Joseph, but he led the way with 22 points in the tournament-opening win against Von Steuben and still finished as the team’s third-leading scorer for the tourney with 32 points. With Stephens sitting later in the tourney and the Saints opening with a lopsided win, plenty of players got on the floor and proved their mettle.
Jake Asquini was a double-digit scorer against Von Steuben. AJ Washington was the team’s leading rebounder in three games and averaged 11 points per game. Dave Mason played solid ball throughout the tourney, and Cole Gentry provided some quality relief for Adduci at point guard.
The tournament run showed East’s depth and provided a boost of confidence.
“It’s a huge confidence-builder for everyone,” Adduci said. “People who stepped up — the younger kids on our team, the kids who don’t get major minutes all the time — they stepped up and played unbelievable. We know we’re a solid team and we can win games with or without Kendall.”
Dec. 26 St. Charles East 70 Von Steuben 36
Dec. 27 Stevenson 58 St. Charles East 49
Dec. 28 St. Charles East 64 Glenbard East 61
Dec. 29 St. Joseph 49 St. Charles East 46