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Boys Basketball Notes: Sam Walsh, York go OT to grab big win at Benet

Riverside-Brookfield opening eyes with fast start; Hinsdale Central pairings released

York High School junior Sam Walsh (35) makes a shot in the second quarter as Downers Grove North senior Keenan Davis (40) plays defense Friday night in Elmhurst. David Toney – For Shaw Media
York High School junior Sam Walsh (35) makes a shot in the second quarter as Downers Grove North senior Keenan Davis (40) plays defense Friday night in Elmhurst. David Toney – For Shaw Media

Sam Walsh and York on Tuesday won where few opposing teams do.

That's only half the story.

The Dukes defeated host Benet 67-58 in overtime, handing the Redwings their first loss of the season.

York (5-1) led 53-45 with 40.5 seconds left in regulation, watched as Benet forced overtime but then dominated the extra period.

Nate Shockey scored 17 points, Walsh 16, Erik Cohn 13 and Nick Kosich 10.

"On the road, the place was very loud, a game is usually over when that happens; most kids don't have that mental toughness to turn it around, but we did," York coach Vince Doran said. "We have mostly seniors, they've been through these types of games. I saw in the huddle that they were very confident."

Walsh missed two free throws at the end of regulation, but came right back with two baskets in a row in overtime against 6-foot-8 Benet junior Colin Crothers.

"We said in the huddle we were going right back to him, and he scored two in a row against a future Division I kid," Doran said. "He showed tremendous mental toughness. He really took it to them in OT, kind of made amends which was awesome to see."

Doran said Walsh's stat line wasn't really indicative of how well he played against elite competition like Crothers and 6-7 Kendrick Tchoua. Foul trouble kept Walsh out for a significant portion of the first half.

"He was battling with those big kids," Doran said. "That is something that is an intangible that gets undervalued. We couldn't have survived without him."

The Dukes can't rest on their laurels, though.

They have games with Glenbard West, Addison Trail, Willowbrook and Downers Grove North – teams with a combined record of 20-3 – the next two weeks.

"We can't be happy for ourselves," Dolan said. "We have a great challenge immediately. It should be really easy to get focused."

Paint the Gym Purple at York

This Saturday York will host its 10th Annual Paint the Gym Purple night. All levels of Dukes' basketball, boys and girls, will be in action with the York varsity girls playing Lyons Township at 6 p.m. and the York varsity boys playing Glenbard West at 7:30 p.m.

The programs are partnering with the York All Youth Relay for Life committee and the American Cancer Society to help raise funds for the Relay for Life. All proceeds from the Paint the Gym Purple Night will benefit the York All Youth Relay For Life efforts.

The Relay for Life is the volunteer-driven fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Volunteers from the communities of Elmhurst, Addison, Lombard and Villa Park are joining forces for the Communities Against Cancer Relay for Life event, which is scheduled for May 11 at the York fieldhouse.

For more information on ‘Communities Against Cancer: A Relay For Life Event’ and volunteer opportunities, contact Melanie Lindsay at the American Cancer Society at (630) 764-9222 or

"Eight games going on Saturday, it's a cool event, the game of the year," Doran said. "It's for a great cause."

Bulldogs showing bite

Is there a team that's impressed more in the early season than Riverside-Brookfield?


The Bulldogs, led by Zach Vaia, Andrew Veon and Patrick Hanley, are 7-0 after a 76-58 win over Aurora Central Catholic. Vaia scored 19 points, with five 3-pointers, Veon 14 and Hanley 13 in the game.

R-B already owns eye-opening victories over Oak Park-River Forest and Kenwood. The Bulldogs get another test Saturday against Farragut at the Team Rose Shootout at Mount Carmel.

Team Rose Shootout

The two-day, 11-game Team Rose Shootout will feature several local teams. On Saturday Riverside-Brookfield plays Farragut at 12:30 p.m., with Lemont and Drake recruit Nate Ferguson playing Providence St. Mel at 2 p.m. On Sunday Downers Grove North (5-0) faces Oswego at noon in a game that features great guard play on both sides, Semaj Henderson and Eddie Boston for the Trojans and Dylan Engler and Jack Kahoun for the 4-1 Panthers.

Hinsdale Central pairings

Pairings for the Dec. 26-29 Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic were released this week. Willowbrook will play Richards at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 26, and Hinsdale Central will play Homewood-Flossmoor at 7:30 p.m. DePaul Prep, with Brown recruit Perry Cowan, and Oswego East and Boise State commit Ray J Dennis are headliners in the 16-team event.

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