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Central boys top South in playoffs, get payback for season-opening loss

NAPERVILLE - Thomas Ives didn't dominate the scoresheet, but When Hinsdale Central's boys basketball team needed a boost, he provided it.

Ives scored six straight fourth-quarter points for the Red Devils to help lift them to a 63-47 win against Hindale South Tuesday in a semifinal game of the Class 4A Naperville Central regional.

"We had a lot of good efforts from a lot of different areas," Central head coach Nick Latorre said. "I thought Thomas Ives played some big minutes for us in the fourth quarter. He had the tip in, he made his free throws, and he was solid with the ball."

Matt Rafferty's two free throws with 1:34 to go in the third quarter broke a 35-35 tie and gave Central the lead for good, but Ives points came at a critical time.

With the Red Devils (22-6 overall) holding a 44-39 lead, Ives hit both ends of a one-and-one and then put back Rafferty's miss for a 48-39 lead. He again hit both ends of a one-and-one with 3:15 to play to put Central ahead 50-42 as it began pulling away for the win.

With the victory, the Red Devils advanced to play in the regional championship game. They will face  Naperville Central at 7 p.m. today. They defeated the Redhawks 67-54 earlier in the season.

"Coming out strong and getting the win [against South] is big for us, and now we're just looking forward to [tonight]," Rafferty said. "We have to have good practices and really focus."

Central's win Tuesday was payback for the first game of the season, a contest the Hornets won 65-63 in overtime.

"I thought it was going to be a dog fight just like it was," Latorre said. "I was expecting that exact kind of game because they are a very good team."

Through three quarters, the game had 15 ties and lead changes. South (16-13) enjoyed a 35-30 lead when Larry Motuzis sank two free throws with 4:18 left in the third quarter, but then the Hornets went cold the rest of the game.

"I think a few more shots on their side fell and a few on our side didn't," South sophomore Barret Benson said. "I thought it was a good, competitive game. We worked as hard as we could."

Central pulled away late by outscoring South 9-3 in the final two minutes of the game.

"I thought we did great things in every quarter, but unfortunately we couldn't string those great things together," South head coach Brett Moore said. "We had a couple nice shots, and then we'd struggle to get something else."


Hinsdale Central 63

Hinsdale South 47

Central leaders

Matt Rafferty: 23 points, 14 rebounds

Chase Hamilton: 12 points

Jordan Bradshaw: Nine points

Grant Lillard: Eight points

Thomas Ives: Six points

South leaders

Marcel Phillips: 15 points

Larry Motuzis: 12 points

Barret Benson: Nine points, 11 rebounds

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