It was snowing outside.
Inside, it was raining — three-pointers.
In front of a huge crowd, Deerfield claimed a 49-44 victory over host Highland Park on Friday night.
The game breakdown? Deerfield won quarters one and four. Highland Park had the upper hand in quarters two and three.
Deerfield junior guard Alex Casieri came out of the chute red hot on a frigid evening. He hit four high-arcing three-pointers — all from the right corner — in the first five minutes of the game, allowing the Warriors to race out to a 17-5 advantage.
“He’s a pretty amazing shooter,” said Highland Park’s Ziv Tal. “He’s got a quick release. He can get a shot off in less than a second.”
Casieri eventually cooled.
And then, HP’s Ziv Tal took the torch.
The Giants guard knocked down three three-pointers and wound up with 11 second-quarter points. His 15-footer off the dribble with two seconds left knotted the game 22-22 at halftime.
“He’s really good,” said HP head coach Paul Harris. “He’s got the ability to create his own shot. And he does a good job of creating shots for others.”
Sparked by Tal (game-high 19 points), the Giants also “owned” much of the third quarter. In fact, they went ahead by five points, 29-24, with 5:56 left in the frame on a steal and fast break layup by Tal.
“I was proud of our resurgence,” said Harris. “The game is 32 minutes long. And we reminded our kids of that.”
Deerfield eventually sealed the win with a strong fourth quarter. The Warriors put together a 6-0 run in the final two minutes of the contest. Warriors junior Zach Rothenberg scored six of his eight points in the final 5:15 of the game.
Highland Park’s Game Balls: Ziv Tal, Daniel Michelon
Deerfield’s Game Balls: Alex Casieri, Ben Bizar, Zach Rothenberg
Highland Park’s Stat Leaders: Tal (19 points, 2 assists, 2 steals), Michelon (10 points, 2 assists), Jack Zeidler (8 points, 7 rebounds), Noah Shutan (5 points), Tyler Gussis (3 rebounds, 3 steals)
Deerfield’s Game Balls: Casieri (15 points, 5 3-pointers), Bizarre (13 points), Rothenberg (9 points)