ELMHURST – York boys coach Vince Doran gleamed with pride from his vantage point during the championship game of the 44th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic Dec. 30.
Ideally, Doran would’ve preferred roaming the sidelines seeking a championship in Game 67 of the five-day, 32-team tournament.
But watching the lead change twice in the final seven seconds, highlighted by Conant’s Joe Arriaga draining an 11-footer with 2.3 seconds to spark the Cougars to a 54-53 double-overtime win over Brother Rice, was a nice consolation.
Plus, the host Dukes finished with a 3-1 record. They beat Thornton Fractional South, Hinsdale South and Minooka and lost to champion Conant.
“It was fun to see all the hard work come to fruition because so many people are involved and to have it end by watching such a great championship game was special,” Doran said. “We had so many people involved with the tournament, and it’s a great statement to our school and community to put together such a great event. It’s quite a production.”
This year, Doran said they added a website dedicated to the tournament and allowed sponsorship “of about 20 sponsors that was new which helped offset the cost of the tournament.”
Doran credited Mark Tomczak for his hard work with producing statistics and handling the social media aspect of running such a large tournament.
“Mark probably worked 18-hour days during the tournament,” Doran said. “His work with Twitter and the website, updating the scores, the records are almost instantly after the game. I think what separates us from other tournaments is Mark’s work with social media. Getting a website going wasn’t an easy thing to do. There are so many people involved, from the parents with the concessions and the hospitality room.”
Regarding his team’s performance, Doran noted the overall improvement of playing numerous high-caliber programs in a condensed period. The Dukes (8-5) missed an opportunity to add to their recent run, when they won the tourney twice and finished second in a six-year run leading up to the 2017 tourney.
“Our kids get really excited about the tournament,” he said. “It’s a different feeling. I thought it was a great performance by us this year.
York junior guard Nick Kosich was the only Duke named to the 2017 Jack Tosh All-Tournament Team. Kosich averaged 11.3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.8 steals.
“Nick is a really talented kid,” Doran said. “We’re a really balanced team, but I felt Erik Cohn or Angelo Martucci could’ve received that award as well. All three do special things for the team. Angelo played a lot better in terms of handling the ball and Erik shot the ball really well, especially against Conant. He’s a player with tremendous upside.”
The Dukes have some momentum heading into a key West Suburban Silver showdown Jan. 5 against Oak Park-River Forest (9-2) before playing five games in three days next week.