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Alec Hutcherson and 6-foot-7 Matt Rafftery both came up big offensively late Saturday as Streaking Hinsdale Central raced past Andrew 58-48 in the Glenbard East Shootout.
Rafferty had a team-high 17 points (13 after in the second half) and six rebounds, while Hutcherson (15 points) was the key factor down the stretch.
Hutcherson’s eight-point fourth quarter included a three-pointer with 4:58 left that put the Red Devils (11-5 and winners of five in a row) ahead for good at 49-46.
“I was just getting everything within the flow of the game,” said Hutcherson, who hit a trio of three-pointers on the night. “We picked up our energy, got out on transition a little bit, and on set plays our guys set really good screens so I had wide open looks every time. They were focusing on Raff down low so I was able to get some good looks.”
Chase Hamilton (13 points) and point guard Brian Owens (nine points, seven assists) also stood out offensively as the Red Devils shot 59 percent from the floor (24 of 41) and committed just five turnovers.
Led by versatile 6-foot-7 Jubril Adekoya (17 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Andrew showed resiliency all night. Gino Karopulos (14 points) and Mike Grenda (13) also scored in double figures.
“Jubril’s our constant,” Andrew coach Mike O’Halloran said. “He's always making other guys better. And I thought our two sophomores (Karopulos and Luke Hook) stepped up and made good progress for us.”
The Thunderbolts (10-6) recovered from an early 13-6 deficit to trail just 26-25 at halftime, then used a 7-0 fourth quarter run to briefly tie the game at 46 before Hutcherson’s momentum-turning trifecta.
“I was pleased with the fact that a good team came back on us, and we were able to sustain our effort and come out with a ‘W’,” Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre said. “Of our five losses we had similar situations in four of them and ended up on the wrong end of it, so I’m happy that this has shown that we’ve grown some.
“I was pleased that we took a good punch, maintained our composure and played well down the stretch."
The Red Devils haven’t lost since the Proviso West Tournament in late December.
“We’re doing the little things,” Hutcherson said. “We have a lot more energy starting the game, everybody’s figuring out their roles and where their shots are in the offenses, and we’re picking it up big time on the defensive end.”
Andrew made 17 of 35 field goals and had 13 turnovers.
Our assistant coach said this was like a Bracket Buster,” O’Halloran said. “You measure up where you’re at before you go back and finish out conference play.
“They (Hinsdale Central) are a very good team and I think just wore us down a little bit," O’Halloran added. “But I think this will help us down the road. We're playing a Friday-Saturday-Tuesday this week, almost a postseason setup when you're going to have to win three games in about the same time frame.
"We wanted to schedule a game this time of year in that time frame against a quality opponent, and we got all of that today."