Highland Park High School’s boys basketball team opened the game with a three-pointer.
St. Viator answered with a trey.
HP netted another ‘3’ ball.
Viator then hit consecutive three-pointers.
Back and forth …
Oohs and aahs …
When all was said and swished — at the 4:28 mark of the first quarter of a St. Viator Thanksgiving Tournament game on Nov. 24 — the teams had combined for 15 points, with each coming from three-point territory.
Viator’s Lions led HP’s Giants 9-6.
The nets, somehow, survived the hot hands.
But only Viator was able to sustain the onslaught from long range, as it closed the first quarter with 13-0 run (including two more treys) and notched a 65-50 victory on the day after Thanksgiving in Arlington Heights.
“That’s a team playing with a lot of confidence,” HP coach Paul Harris said of the Lions, who led 35-16 at the half and connected on 12-of-21 three-pointers for the game. “All of their players shoot the ball well, make the extra pass.
“I liked our start; we started pretty strongly.”
The teams each hit a trio of threes in the third quarter. Senior guards Noah Shutan, Daniel Michelon and Lucas Fleisher connected for the Giants, who outscored the Lions 12-4 in the middle of the quarter and trailed 43-30 with 1:53 remaining.
St. Viator regained the momentum from there, tallying the final 11 points (9 via the three, 2 via a dunk) of the quarter and the first two points of the fourth frame.
But Harris’ crew didn’t show an iota of quit in the final eight minutes. At one point, with HP down by 19 points late in the fourth quarter, Giants reserve forward Ethan Goldberg shouted, “Let’s go, let’s go!” as HP prepared to play defense following a made free throw.
HP junior reserve guard Cole Brennan scored all seven of his points in the final 57 seconds. His output capped the Giants’ game-ending 9-3 stretch.
Ten other Giants scored at least one point. Senior guard Ziv Tal paced the club with eight points, followed by Brennan (7), senior guard/forward Tyler Gussis (7 points), Goldberg (6), Fleisher (6) and Shutan (5), who also contributed four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Viator ended up shooting considerably better from three-point terrain (.571) than it did on its two-point attempts (.455).
HP (0-4) lost its three other tournament games, none closer than its 61-58 decision to Evanston on Nov. 20. HP also fell 55-37 to Conant on Nov. 21 and 46-35 to Prospect on Nov. 25.
Tal poured in 21 points in the Evanston game and also led the team in scoring against Conant (17) and Prospect (17).
Michelon netted seven points in the Conant game, and Shutan scored nine in HP’s tourney finale against Prospect.
The Giants will try to bounce back with a home game against Maine West on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.