Highland Park has been in this predicament before.
Thus, Ziv Tal and his fellow teammates weren’t worried, when they fell behind 12-0 in the first four minutes of their game at New Trier on Feb. 21.
There still was no panic, when the Giants trailed by 11 points, 30-19, at the half.
“Coming back is something that we’ve done all year,” said Tal, following his team’s 46-43 win over the Trevians. “We were down by 19 at halftime against Lemont [on Jan. 28) and came back and won [49-48].
“Since we’ve done it before, we’re confident that we can do it again,” he added.
Tal wound up playing a huge role in the come-from-behind win. He sealed the win by hitting three free throws with 2.6 seconds left in regulation.
He ended the game with a game-high 17 points.
“Being able to come back like that is a testament to this team,” said HP head coach Paul Harris. “This team plays with a lot of grit.”
With the win, the Giants improved to 14-12 overall. New Trier fell a game under .500 (12-13).
“I don’t care about the records,” Harris said. “Any time that you can beat a team like New Trier, you’ve got to feel good about. They’ve got great talent, and they have a great coaching staff.
“And despite our records,” Harris added, “I think both of these teams are pretty good.”
The loss spoiled Senior Night in the New Trier gym.
“It’s pretty simple,” said NT head coach Scott Fricke. “We made every shot we took in the first half, while we couldn’t hit anything in the second half.
“They were banking on us missing shots,” the coach added.
The Trevians scored only five points in the fourth quarter. Their last bucket was scored by junior Griffin Ryan with 3:37 left to play.
“You have to make plays at the end of a game,” said Fricke.
NT’s leading scorer was senior Aaron Peltz, who hit three three-pointers for nine points. Senior James Connor tallied eight points, while fellow senior Spencer Campbell hit two threes for six points.
HP’s other scoring leaders were Noah Shutan (7 points), Jack Zeidler (7 points) and Daniel Michelon (6 points).
Tyler Gussis, Thano Fourlas and Luke Zemelis also turned in solid minutes in the second half.
Gussis converted a three-point play to cut NT’s lead to three points with 2:00 left in the third quarter.
Foulas knocked down a big three-pointer from the right corner early in the fourth quarter.
And Zemelis came up with three rebounds and one steal in the final six minutes of the contest.