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Boys basketball: Balanced Oswego rips Plainfield North

Updated: February 16, 2013 12:56AM

It was clear from the start that on senior night, nothing was going to stop the celebration of the Oswego seniors and the outstanding season they have orchestrated.

The Panthers never trailed and, although their shooting was off in the first half, their effort never wavered in a 65-46 victory over Plainfield North. For the Southwest Prairie Conference champs, it was their 15th straight victory and provided a chance for a perfect conference season Thursday at Romeoville.

Seniors Darion Reddick, Miles Simelton and Elliott McGaughy combined for 41 points. They had help from several teammates also in their final home game — Jack Kwiatkowski, Jamaal Richardson, Josh Oros and Danny Mangers.

Showing the value of veteran leadership, Oswego (25-2, 13-0) put on a display of unselfish basketball. Seemingly every possession on offense, a Panther would penetrate to the interior of the Tiger defense, then kick it out to an open shooter behind the arc.

Oswego put up 30 shots from behind the arc, made 11 of them and more importantly stretched the Plainfield North defense. For the game, the Panthers connected on 21 of 54 shots from the field. But their defense created 20 turnovers and forced the Tigers into a number of hurried shots.

“Our kids are not afraid to get after it defensively,” Oswego coach Kevin Schnable said. “I feel like we played both a fast game and a physical game. I just like how we guarded tonight, and we crashed the boards well especially on the offensive end.”

After the Tigers (12-13, 9-4) had crept within 44-34 early in the fourth period, the hammer came down. On three straight trips, the Panthers drained threes. First Reddick knocked one down on a feed from Oros. Then sophomore Zach West (11 points on three three-pointers) drained a pair of long ones, the second off an inside-out assist from McGaughy.

All of sudden, in a span of 53 seconds, the lead had grown to 53-36 and the outcome was settled.

“It’s hard to simulate that kind of quickness in practice,” Plainfield North coach Nick DiForti said. “I do think our guys battled, but every time we’d cut it to single digits, they’d come back and hit a big three.”

The Panthers made clear early on what their approach would be. Reddick, Simelton, West, and Kwiatkowski (seven points) all hit three-pointers in the first period to help Oswego to a 15-7 lead. The Panthers would go on to lead several times by 13 points and keep control of the game throughout.

“We almost came out with too much adrenalin, bricking a bunch of long shots in the first half,” said Schnable. “But once we started using that adrenalin to our advantage by attacking and driving, the game changed.”

Reddick made five of his 10 shots, including three treys, to lead all scorers with 15 points. He also pulled down seven rebounds in the physical contest which saw 41 fouls whistled.

Simelton also hit three shots from behind the arc and finished with 14 points. McGaughy chipped in 12 points and six boards for Oswego. With four players in double figures, Schnable likes his team’s chances in the postseason.

“That makes us hard to guard when we have good balance,” said Schnable. “Hopefully we have some scouts scratching their heads — who do we key on?”

For Plainfield North, which had its seven-game winning streak halted, Kurt Palandech led the way with 11 points and Marcus Fair added nine points.

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