GAMER: NT 53, PROSPECT 35
Griffin Ryan put his built-in camera to good use during a boys basketball game on Friday night.
“My last home game, in front of our fans, I looked around and made sure I took a few mental images tonight,” New Trier’s 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward said after coming up with a big third quarter in his team’s 53-35 defeat of visiting Prospect in a Class 4A boys basketball regional championship game on March 2.
“I wanted to remember this for a while.”
Ryan had a memorable third frame, doing a little bit of everything — and doing it all well. He scored three of his 10 points, grabbed five of his seven rebounds, blocked a shot before collecting one of those boards and whipped a lengthy pass that led to a put-back dunk by junior center Ciaran Brayboy (game-high 14 points, 4 dunks, 8 rebounds).
Seventh-seeded Prospect (22-6) scored the first five points of the third quarter to cut second-seeded NT’s lead to 24-21 in Winnetka.
The Trevians (24-5) replied with an emphatic 13-0 run to establish a 37-21 cushion. Six Trevs scored in the game-turning barrage.
“Every one of our guys did something,” said NT coach Scott Fricke, whose club faces third-seeded Niles North in a Maine East sectional semifinal on March 7. “A true team effort; it’s been like that all year for us.
“Our team is gritty, tough. The work the players have put in … they deserved this; they truly did.”
NT out-rebounded the visitors 33-16 and limited the Knights’ high-scoring senior guard, David Swedura, to two field goals and 11 points.
NT senior guard Brian Conaghan guarded him most of the night.
“I’d seen [Swedura] score 40 points several times this season,” said Fricke, whose son, Zach, played hoops for Buffalo Grove — a Mid-Suburban League East school, like Prospect — this winter. “Prospect is a very good team, a difficult team, a team with five starters who can shoot. I wasn’t comfortable with two minutes to play [and with a 49-33 advantage].”
Trevians junior guard Sam Silverstein scored seven of his nine points in the second half; senior floor leader Andrew Kirkpatrick finished with eight points and four boards and several on-the-money entry passes; and junior forward/center Spencer Boehm contributed six points and seven rebounds.
Ryan — the Trev with those Polaroids floating inside his head — knew (as did the rest of his team) Prospect would do all it could to set a resounding tone at the start of the second half.
“That’s a strong team with a lot of good three-point shooters,” said Ryan, who scored three points in that 13-0 burst, including two on a driving layup through heavy traffic after securing a rebound near a free-throw line.
“We survived that early punch [5-0 run] and played great defense the rest of the way. Brian [Conaghan] did such a great job on [Swedura].”
NT’s next playoff foe, Niles North, defeated visiting St. Viator 68-60 in another regional title game on March 2.