Boys basketball

Whiting gets another shot at Bishop Noll in Hebron Sectional final

2014-03-07T21:30:00Z 2014-03-08T03:10:06Z Whiting gets another shot at Bishop Noll in Hebron Sectional finalPaul Jankowski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 07, 2014 9:30 pm  • 

HEBRON | At the beginning of this school year, Whiting junior Joseph Hawkins lived in Mississippi.

His family moved to Whiting in September. First-year Whiting coach Tim Hopps, a five-year student manager at Valparaiso University under Homer and Bryce Drew, met with Hawkins' father to discuss the basketball team.

All hasn't been exactly smooth for Hawkins, but he had quite a welcome to Hoosier Hysteria on Friday night in the Class 2A Hebron Sectional semifinals.

Hawkins came off the bench for the Oilers to score a game- and career-high 18 points to lead Whiting to a 47-43 come-from-behind victory over the host Hawks.

"He's learning what the sectional is all about," Hopps said. "He stepped up and that was huge for us."

Whiting (13-8) will take a six-game winning streak into tonight's title game against state-ranked No. 5 Bishop Noll (20-3), which took control in the second quarter of a 76-43 pummeling of River Forest.

In a game that had 16 lead changes, Whiting rallied from a 37-34 deficit in the last three minutes to eliminate the Hawks (13-10).

Hebron trailed 29-24 late in the third quarter, but the Hawks put together a 9-2 run to take a 33-31 lead on a 3-pointer by Bryce Hanaway with 5:48 remaining. But Hawkins hit a 3-pointer with 5:02 left to give the Oilers a 34-33 advantage.

The Oilers' press then took its toll on Hebron. Whiting came up with five consecutive steals in the final three minutes, and a 3-pointer by Matt Dvorscak with 1:44 remaining gave the Oilers a 39-37 advantage they would never relinquish.

"I knew that shot was going to be good," Hopps said. "He's a senior so I knew he would step up and make it. That was huge for us."

The Oilers converted 6 of 8 free throws in the final 1:04 to secure the win. Dvorsak added 12 points for Whiting, while Hebron (13-10) was led by Hanaway with 11.

"We got discombobulated a little against their press," Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. "We just flattened out and made mistakes. You can't do that. But I'll take my guys against anybody. We had a pretty good year."

Whiting hasn't lost a game since falling 60-46 to Noll on Jan. 31.

"The biggest thing is containing their 3-point shooters and keeping them off the offensive boards," Hopps said. "We feel like we have improved not only throughout the season but whenever we play a team a second time."

In the nightcap, River Forest led 14-12 with 2:59 remaining in the first quarter when Noll coach Josh Belluomini called a timeout. The Warriors responded with a game-clinching 22-1 run.

"They're a very talented group; everyone knows that," Belluomini said. "But I just didn't think we were focused at all. They're just so talented, but they can still beat a team by 30."

Tyreon Gates led Noll with 22 points and six rebounds, while Larry Crisler had 16 to go along with six boards.

The highlight of the night was a steal by Gates late in the third quarter. Racing to the other end, he threw an alley-oop pass off the backboard that Crisler jammed home. He was called for a technical for hanging on the rim, but it didn't matter at that point.

"Whiting is a good team and we definitely want to come out focused," Belluomini said. "We can play up to 11 guys and the biggest thing is our depth, because someone can step up and win a game. That's where it can come in handy. The guys know better and they'll be ready (Saturday)."

For River Forest (9-12), Brandon Laas scored 11 points.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Featured Businesses