Blackout ends in disappointment

Drew Cushing, Online Editor

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In the eighth annual blackout game on Feb. 12, the LT boys basketball team fell to Hinsdale Central 65-49. Forwards Connor Niego ‘17 and Noah Niego ‘17 led the Lions in scoring, with 18 and 13 points, respectively. Central’s squad was led by guard Drew Shepherd ‘16 and forward Peter Blust ‘16 with 26 and 15 points, respectively.

The bleachers were filled to near full capacity for this game, which also happened to be senior night, making it twice as special for the senior players on the team.

“The atmosphere was unreal, I can’t even describe it,” guard Nolan Delaney ‘16 said. “To play in front of a crowd like that on senior night was insane.”

The first half of the game was tightly contested. Despite a strong start to the game by LT, Central’s team was able to close the lead and even the score with both teams being tied at 31 as they headed to the locker rooms. The half-time of this game, although not including a half-court shot to win a car like this year, did include a spectacle when a student stripped down to only a speedo at the center of the court and led the student section in a rollercoaster.

The tune of the second half of the game, however, was far from that of the first. LT struggled from the perimeter and wasn’t able to match Central’s shooting led by Shepherd and also couldn’t match the aggression of the Red Devils as they outscored the Lions 20-7 in the third quarter. Central started to hit its stride and LT wasn’t able to respond like it should’ve and could’ve, Delaney said.

“Our guys were more passive, Hinsdale’s guys were more aggressive,” varsity Head Coach Tom Sloan said. “In the second half they got several second chance opportunities and those kinds of things are backbreakers when you’re trying to hustle and make some kind of a comeback.”

Central was able to hold the lead it gained in the third quarter for the rest of the game. A worrisome point in the fourth quarter was when Noah went down with an apparent leg injury with seven minutes left in the game, but he was able to return three minutes later to finish the game out.

“We didn’t play with a lot of confidence and we couldn’t handle the pressure towards the end,” guard Cawone Hester ‘16 said. “It starts in practice everyday. We have to work hard and practice like we’re in a game so we can already be used to the pressure.”

The win by Central evened this year’s LT-HC series at one game a piece, as LT defeated Central 59-53 in overtime at the Bluenami game on Jan. 8.

“They all give maximum effort with everything they do,” Sloan said of the seniors. “It would’ve been really nice for us to get this one for them.”

With the loss, the LT team falls to 8-14 on the season and next plays an away game against Glenbard West on Feb. 17 at 7:30.