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Homewood Flossmoor's Rashaan Surles feels the defensive pressure of Bloom's Dejahown Freeman. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Even as Homewood-Flossmoor enjoyed the aftertaste of a 49-46 victory over host Bloom in the Chicago Heights Classic’s championship game, coach James McLaughlin brushed it off.
“November doesn’t mean anything,” McLaughlin said. “It is a great four-day tournament and we’re happy with our guys’ play, we like our team and it’s nice to win one over here. But it’s Nov. 23 and we have three more months of basketball ahead of us.”
Rashaan Surles scored a game-high 19 points and Maurius Hill chipped in 12 points.
H-F pulled off the victory despite Bloom’s two last-second near heroics.
Bloom’s Dejahown Freeman (11 points) missed a jumper from the top of the key with about five seconds to go and H-F leading 47-46.
The Vikings (4-0) got the ball back and went to the foul line for two shots. Surles made both with four seconds to play and the Vikings led 49-46.
Bloom had one more chance to tie as time wound down, but Jared Johnson missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
After a tight first quarter that saw the score tied twice, H-F came out with a little more spark in the second quarter and took a four-point lead into halftime.
H-F’s lead grew to 10 after an 8-0 run to start the second half, and the Vikings maintained close to a 10-point lead until Bloom’s defense started to pressure and the Vikings lost their focus.
“Bloom turned up the pressure and we didn’t respond well,” Surles said. “In the first three (quarters), we came out focused and we executed.”
Johnny Griffin and James Coleman both scored 10 points for Bloom (3-1).
In the third-place game, Marian Catholic beat Hillcrest 64-54.
Hillcrest was down 25-9 late in the first half, but put together a minor rally to cut the Spartans’ lead to 31-20 by the break.
The Hawks pulled to within two with 4:43 to play when Taylor Adway made two free throws. But after that, Hillcrest never got closer.