ELMHURST – York was one game away from heading into the new year with an undefeated record and a second straight Jack Tosh Holiday Classic title.
However, Lake Forest prevented both Tuesday afternoon in Elmhurst. The Scouts won the tournament with a 61-47 victory over the Dukes in the final.
York (12-1) only led in the early minutes. The Scouts led almost the entire game.
“It hurts, especially on our home court,” York senior Jack Heinle said. “Championship game and everything. I think everyone fought their hearts out. That’s all you can really ask for.”
The Scouts started the third quarter on a 7-0 run to build an 11-point lead. York got no closer than eight the rest of the game.
“I think it was a lot of little things that just got us down,” Heinle said. “Obviously our shots weren’t falling, but we were just talking with each other and asking what to work on. We just got to keep playing hard and keep preparing the way we have been. That’s all we can really do.”
To get to the final of the newly-expanded 32-team tournament, York won four games while allowing just over 42 points per game.
Numbers like that make the secret to the Dukes’ early success apparent.
“Defense, that’s what we take pride in, and sharing the ball, too,” senior Frank Toohey said. “Usually every night the scoreboard is pretty even.”
Toohey averaged 15.4 points and six rebounds per game to lead the Dukes. He was named to the all-tournament team.
Junior Jayvon Thomas appears to be an emerging talent for the Dukes. While the guard is still coming off the bench, he averaged 7.6 points per game during the tournament, second on the team.
Next up for the Dukes is a trip to Quincy on Friday.
“It’s one of the toughest environments to play in the state,” Heinle said. “Just the way they do their basketball down there. We’re looking forward to that to start the new year off right.”
Tosh tournament scores (in order)
• York 56, Robeson 45 • York 65, Sandburg 45 • York 43, St. Ignatius 37 • York 56, Lyons Township 42 • Lake Forest 61, York 47