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Plainfield North guard Marcus Fair drives around Minooka's Adam Alexander. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Minooka 6-foot-4 junior forward Adam Alexander came off the bench to score 13 points, including the game-winning layup with 14 seconds left, and grab seven rebounds as the Indians escaped visiting Southwest Prairie foe Plainfield North 58-57 Friday.
After Kendall Interial’s three-point basket vaulted North (3-3, 1-1) into a 57-56 lead with 42 seconds remaining, Minooka senior guard Darrin Myers penetrated the Tigers’ defense. Alexander set a pick, rolled to the basket and took the feed from Myers to score the game-winner.
“I was shocked I was that open,” Alexander said. “It was all Darrin. I just finished if off. My heart dropped a little when the ball was bouncing on the rim before it finally dropped in.”
“Darrin did a great job handling the ball in a pick-and-roll situation,” Minooka coach Scott Tanaka said. “And Adam has come along. He’s 6-4 but not big in weight. He’s been playing with heart, determination and effort.”
Myers scored 11 and Jake Hogen, hounded by Interial, managed nine for the Indians (4-1, 1-0).
“Jake was demanding attention and did a great job doing other things besides scoring,” Tanaka said.
“Kendall (Interial) is quick and gets in your face,” North coach Nick DiForti said. “Hogen maintained his composure. He never cracked.”
Interial led North with 17 points, sophomore Jake Nowak had 12 and sophomore Trevor Stumpe, in his first action coming off a hamstring pull, added seven.
“I told Scott (Tanaka) before the game that I love preparing for his teams,” DiForti said. “This was fun. Both teams grind, and it was a great atmosphere.”
Minooka, which committed 21 of the game’s 41 turnovers and made 13 of 27 free throws to the Tigers’ 6-for-18, used a strong third quarter to lead 52-42. But North scored the first 10 points in the fourth quarter and took it down to a missed three-pointer in the closing seconds.