Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
By Michael O'Brien
The old clich about free throws winning basketball games has rarely been more true than it was Thursday at Crane.
Crane and Farragut shot a combined 83 free-throws, which ranks 20th all-time in the Illinois High School Association record book. It's the highest total recorded for a Public League game and the fourth-highest amount ever shot in the Chicago area.
The No. 13 Admirals shot 47 free throws and the Cougars shot 36, leading to a 74-68 win for Farragut.
"It was pretty ugly," Farragut coach William Nelson said. "I didn't realize the total was up that high. It was definitely a slow game though. And I was thinking that whoever I put in was going to wind up at the line, so I put in the better shooters."
Crane (9-2, 3-1 Red-West) used all the free throws to cut a 16-point deficit down to just two points with 53 seconds to play. But the No. 16 Cougars hard work went down the drain when they called a timeout with none left, resulting in a technical foul that led to two more Farragut free throws. The Admirals shot 9-for-10 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.
"There really wasn't any flow to the game at all," Farragut senior DJ Tolliver said. "We had the lead and knew we needed to just keep getting to the basket and they would call a foul."
Tolliver scored 14 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had four steals. Gabe Williams led the Admirals with 19 points, Jonathan Collins added 18 and Alphonse Matthews scored 13.
Kieran Woods (25 points) and Willie Conner (20 points, nine rebounds) led the charge back for Crane. Woods scored 14 in the fourth quarter and Conner scored 12, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Admirals, who were missing 6-7 junior Rashaun Stimage. Stimage is out with a broken hand.
"We lost to Orr that first game without Stimage," Tolliver said. "We all talked about it in school today, about stepping up and finding a way to win without him. I knew I had to be more of a leader."
Crane shot 21-for-36 from the line and Farragut (11-2, 3-1) was 31 for 47.