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Brian Owens provided the extra spark No. 23 Hinsdale Central needed in the fourth quarter, but the Red Devils could find a way to finish off No. 4 Proviso East in the second annual West Suburban Crossover championship.
Owens, a senior guard, scored six consecutive points to pull host Hinsdale within two points of Proviso, but the Gold division champion Pirates held off the Silver champ Devils for a 66-59 victory Wednesday night.
Owens' 15-foot jumper with 5:21 remaining trimmed Proviso's lead to 54-52. But the Devils (18-6) could only scored three more baskets to end the game. Chase Hamilton added a 3-pointer with 2:28 to go to cut the deficit to 58-55. The Pirates (23-3) scored eight of the game's last 12 points, including 6 of 10 free throws in the final 1 1/2 minutes.
"We know we can play with anybody," said Owens, who finished with 13 points and five rebounds. "Obviously, this one hurts right now. This was a great opportunity for us."
Both division champs entered the game with 12-game winning streaks. Proviso entered the game with 19 wins in its last 20 games and earned a forfeit victory against Morton Feb. 9 when Morton officials decided to cancel the second meeting after a scuffle broke out in the first meeting Jan. 11.
Hinsdale made its debut in the crossover regular season finale for first place teams. The Pirates won their second crossover finale after beating Oak Park-River Forest 63-48 last season.
Proviso handed the Devils their first loss since a 61-59 defeat to Hillcrest Dec. 28 in a buzzer-beating shot at the Proviso West Holiday tournament.
The Pirates led 40-24 at halftime after outscoring Hinsdale 27-8 in the second quarter. Hinsdale shot 6 of 8 from the floor in the first quarter to then struggle by shooting 3 for 15 in the second quarter. The Devils made a comeback by outscoring Proviso 20-10 in the third quarter.
"We had a terrible second quarter," said Devils senior Jared Eck, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half. "That was why we lost the game."
Owens' scoring run in the fourth quarter was started with Matt Rafferty's driving layup, which ignited an 8-2 run. Rafftery scored a team-high 17 points and had 10 rebounds.
"It was a great atmosphere. It was a great environment for both of our programs to be a part of," Hinsdale coach Nick Latorre said. "It was a positive evening for everybody involved."