CALUMET TOWNSHIP | Two great individual performances highlighted Thursday's Greater South Shore Conference tournament doubleheader between River Forest and Calumet.
One ended in a win. One ended in a loss.
Brandon Laas poured in 29 points and six 3-pointers to pace the Ingots boys to a 68-64 victory, reversing a three-point loss 11 days earlier.
In the girls game, Warriors freshman Jaileh Ratliff stashed 25 points, including five treys, but Calumet fell to R.F., 49-36.
"I just started hitting shots as soon I started shooting, and I just stuck with it," Laas said. "My teammates were great. If we keep playing like this, I see great things for us in the tournament. We're ready."
R.F. saw a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle to three more than once against Calumet's withering pressure, but the Ingots made just enough free throws, 16 of 28 in all, to hang on.
"We knew we had to knock down free throws," Laas said. "We missed a couple, but we'll work on it and we won't have that problem again."
River Forest (6-6) drilled eight first-half 3s, four of them by Laas, to take a 34-26 lead to the locker room.
"They didn't seem to be missing very much," Calumet coach Matt Justin said. "They moved the ball well on offense. We've been in that situation before and were able to battle back. We had opportunities to make it really interesting, but we came up a little short."
Dantrell Brooks registered 16 points and 12 rebounds for Calumet, while Anthony Harris fueled the fourth-quarter rally with 11 of his 13 points.
"They extended their 1-3-1. We had our 6-8 guy (Josh Borst) going block to block but we didn't get it in to him like we should have," Justin said.
Luis Cordero, a 5-foot-11 guard, nabbed seven boards and handed out four assists for the undersized Ingots, who have just two players over 6-foot.
In the opener, R.F. (7-9) used a 13-0 first-quarter run to take control. The Ingots saw a 15-point lead whittled to three late in the third, but pulled away in the fourth.
"There's been such a layover, OK, we're playing, we're not playing, and it definitely showed we haven't played in a while," R.F. coach Courtney Quigg said. "(Calumet coach) Dori (Downing) gets the best out of every one of her players every time. You never feel safe. We got back to our press, which brought some intensity for us, and we just tried to only take shots we needed to take."
Ratliff hit five 3s for Calumet (2-13), four of them off the glass.
"A lot of places are closed out there with the snow, but the bank was open in here for her," Quigg said. "Dori's had a line of great players and she's going to be her next one."
Ratliff made 10 of 18 shots, including 5 of 8 from deep.
"Just think if she learned how to attack," Downing said. "She's 14. She'll get there."
The Warriors, who hadn't practiced since Monday, were done in by 28 turnovers, many of them unforced travels.
"I had to pack everything from the last two days into the hour before the game, including food," Downing said. "It wasn't a lack of effort or heart. Our kids just don't get the game. They don't see stuff they should see."
R.F. got 11 points from Colleen Cary and Kali Winkler. It will host Lake Station tonight in another coed doubleheader.