COUNTRY CLUB HILLS | Tom Cappel said it wasn't about him, it was about his kids.
Both ended up with a loss, the second in a row for Crete-Monee, thanks to a big third quarter for Hillcrest on Tuesday night.
The Hawks scored an 84-66 nonconference victory against Crete-Monee largely due to a 30-15 third quarter that erased the Warriors' five-point halftime lead and pulled them out of their zone.
The culprit was Jovan Mooring, who scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in the quarter, including a pair of 3-point shots that convinced Cappel to switch from the zone to a man-to-man.
"They had the run (20-5) on us, we didn't answer the run, and we had to go to the man," Cappel said. "Then we shot 3-pointers in desperation."
Not even the return of Marvie Keith to the lineup could make a difference. Keith, who missed a half-dozen games with a concussion, scored nine points on a trio of 3-pointers, but had only one rebound. He was quick, but Mooring was quicker and more physical, even when playing against Laquon Treadwell. He danced by Treadwell on the way to one basket.
"Mooring's one of the nicest players I've seen," Cappel said. "He's a big time player. When Treadwell's guarding you and you make a move like that — that was the problem. We couldn't match up with them any other way."
Hawks coach Don Houston saw stouter defense in the second half as the key.
"We closed down their (passing) lanes," Houston said, "and Mooring, he's an all-stater."
The Hawks held a 34-24 rebounding edge, including a 10-4 margin in the third quarter. Hitting on 11-of-13 shots in the final quarter also helped the cause.
Cappel didn't want a big deal made of the return to the gym where he coached for 23 years through 2006-07, racking up 504 wins against 146 losses.
"It wasn't any different than any other game, other than the people I saw before the game," Cappel said. "I hadn't been back here since then, and still know half the people here.
"I've have a lot of fond memories in this gym. This wasn't one of them."
Mark Conner and Tyler Williams scored 18 points each to lead Crete-Monee, which loos to snap its two-game losing streak Friday in Kankakee.