Hard to say goodbye for Raiders after 20-win season
When Bolingbrook faced Oswego, it was as if the Raiders were facing a carbon copy of themselves.
BOLINGBROOK — When Bolingbrook faced Oswego in a boys basketball regional final Friday in Batavia, it was as if the Raiders were facing a carbon copy of themselves.
Both teams featured balanced scoring, but it was the Panthers who outlasted the Raiders for a 72-59 win.
"We're obviously disappointed by the outcome, but you have to give (Oswego) credit. They're a really good team," Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. "They won 27 games for a reason. They're the No. 1 seed (in the sectional) for a reason."
Two reasons, actually — senior guards Miles Simelton and Elliott McGaughy. Simelton poured in 25 points and McGaughy had 17 in the Oswego win.
"We wanted to edge out to Simelton and we tried box-and-one and triangle-and-two defenses, but their other kids hurt us too," Brost said. "We went to straight man in the middle of the third quarter, more because we had to. We had four guys who were averaging double figures, they had three guys score 17-plus."
Bolingbrook standout Ben Moore did his part to keep the Raiders in the game, scoring 13 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter. Moore added 13 rebounds in the game.
"It was his final high school game, as it turned out," Brost said. "He came to play and gave full effort and showed why he's an all-state player. We just struggled to get points from anybody else, primarily because their guards are so quick and they turn you over."
The Raiders wrapped up their season with a 20-8 mark, including a 71-63 regional semifinal win over Lemont Feb. 27. Four players scored in double figures in the playoff win: Prentiss Nixon (21), Kenny Williams (18), Kendall Guyton (12) and Moore (10).
while introducing several players to varsity basketball. Moore was the only returning starter; fellow starters Prentiss Nixon, Kendall Guyton, C.J. Redmond and Kenny Williams had never been in that position before.
The group coalesced quickly this season. The Raiders got out to a 7-2 start, and after losing their first game at the McDipper holiday tournament, they won three straight to close the tourney. And right after the new year, they gave Brost a 50-48 win over Homewood-Flossmoor, his first win over H-F.
Though it was a disappointing end to the season, the season itself wasn't disappointing since the Raiders grew closer together as a team.
"My message to them was that I love them and I'm going to continue to love them no matter what," Brost said. "That's what made it so hard to see it end. If we didn't care and didn't develop those relationships then it would be easy, but it was hard."
Senior roll call
:: Johnathan Boatright
:: Kendall Guyton
:: Ricky McNutt
:: Ben Moore
:: Calvin Price
:: T.J. Spencer
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