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Carl White gave a heroic performance in defeat.
The relatively unheralded 6-7 Foreman senior center posted an incredible triple-double with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. He also forced overtime by scoring on a rebound off a missed free throw with three seconds to play in regulation.
The Hornets ran out of gas as they turned the ball over on their first three possessions and saw Rockford Auburn score the first five points of overtime for the 75-67 victory in first-round play of the Proviso West Holiday tournament Saturday in Hillside.
The Knights (8-1) advance to play No. 5 Proviso East, the team that beat them in the tournament semifinals at Proviso West and the Class 4A state tournament last year.
Foreman (7-1) suffered its first loss of the year. The Hornets rallied from a six-point deficit in the final 2:13. Lonell Williams (11 points) split two free throws with 7.9 seconds to play and the Hornets down two points. White grabbed the rebound and scored in traffic to force overtime.
Auburn’s Tramel Rideout intercepted a Foreman pass and scored on a layup for a 65-63 lead on the opening possession of overtime. Foreman turned the bal over the first three possessions of overtime.
“We just went dead in the second half, stopped playings hard and listening to our coaches,” White said of his team’s failure to protect a 10-point first half lead.
“I didn’t know I had a triple-double,” he added. “I was just going out and playing hard.”
Laytwan Porter scored 22 points and Rideout added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights.
Marcus Gatlin added 17 points and five assists for the Hornets. “We just went flat in the second half,’ Foreman coach Terry Head said. “We have young kids, and they don’t realize the magnitude of this tournament. We were up 10 points but we had too many kids who thought that’d be enough to win. This is the best tournament in the country, and it’s not. Teams come back.”