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Boys Basketball: Oswego holds off Naperville North

Updated: November 24, 2012 4:51PM

After suffering a lopsided loss in the season opener Monday to Naperville Central, Oswego’s boys basketball team was worried about a 2-2 finish, or worse, in its Hoops For Healing Tournament this week.

After holding off a pesky Naperville North squad 66-58 in the third-place game Friday, however, the Panthers stand at 3-1 with a win over last year’s Class 4A runner-up Proviso East Wednesday among the three-game win streak.

“Monday night was a nightmare,” Oswego coach Kevin Schnable said. “We were thinking best case scenario 2-2. We came out 3-1. It’s not just about winning; it’s about how we played.”

For the first 20 minutes Friday, the Panthers showed no letdown after Wednesday’s thrilling win over Proviso East. Oswego finished the first half on a 17-3 run; holding the Huskies (2-2) to a mere 14 points in the first half. Oswego led 32-14 at the break.

The lead swelled from there. A 9-0 run in the third that was started by a Miles Simelton three-pointer and two Elliot McGaughy jumpers and ended with a sweet alley-oop dunk by Simelton off a McGaughy feed opened a 43-17 lead.

“Me and Elliot throw them all the time during practice and we’ve been just waiting to get one during the game,” Simelton said of the dunk. “I think he stole the ball and I just leaked out on the break on the right side. I saw him. I looked directly into his eyes and I knew he was going to throw it.”

But Naperville North hung around and made a game of it down the stretch. An 8-0 run late in the third cut the lead to 18. A 17-6 run that was keyed by 10 points from Derek Westman further cut into the lead. All of a sudden with 31 seconds left, Oswego’s lead was trimmed to 61-56, but the Huskies could get no closer.

“I was proud of the second half, especially the fourth quarter,” North coach Jeff Powers said. “The guys didn’t give up. They could have lost by 60, but instead we cut it to five late.”

Westman led the Huskies with 18 points and eight rebounds. Simelton led all scorers with 21, McGaughy scored 17 and Danny Mangers added 10 points off the bench for Oswego.

Schnable was not pleased with the 44 points the Panthers allowed in the second half, but he was happy that the Thanksgiving holiday and the emotional win Wednesday didn’t adversely affect the team early on Friday.

“You don’t want to be the team that has the biggest win of the tournament and also the biggest loss of the tournament in two days,” Schnable said. “We’ll take the 3-1. We feel like coming out of the tournament that we’re prepared for conference play.”

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