CALUMET CITY | Despite being a young team, there are no moral victories for the T.F. North boys basketball team.
The Meteors fell 61-56 to Richards in overtime in a South Suburban Conference crossover game Friday night at T.F. North. The Meteors battled back from a 10-point deficit at the half, but the young Meteors, who feature only two seniors on the varsity roster, were unable to control the ball in overtime. The Meteors lost 18 turnovers in the game and trailed the entire overtime.
"This team has the talent to play with anybody," T.F. North coach Tim Bankston said after the loss. "It's just the young, youthful mistakes are killing us. The guys just get caught in the lights. Young guys do that. I'm proud of them that they fought back, but these are the types of games we expect to win."
Quawone Harris led the Meteors with 15 points and four rebounds. Sadiq Salisu scored 11 for T.F. North, and Dirk Jordan added eight points and four rebounds for the Meteors. Christian Johnson had a strong game off the bench for T.F. North, recording seven points and six boards on the night. Harris, one of two seniors on the squad, saw the Meteors play as a team in the second half to battle back into the game.
"There was more leadership in the second half," Harris said. "Once everyone was on the same page, we started playing better. Playing as one, instead of everyone playing on their own."
Trailing by 10 at the half, the Meteors (3-1, 3-1) outscored the Bulldogs 18-8 to tie the game heading into the final quarter. At the end of regulation, Richards (8-1, 5-0) had a chance to win the game, but Dedrick Shannon's three point attempt rimmed off, and the game was headed to overtime.
"Because we're a young team that doesn't mean we're supposed to lose," Harris said. "I know what it's like to play in the fight, playoff games, whatever, when there's a big crowd around. I should be more vocal and physical leader on and off the court."
The loss was the first of the season for the Meteors, and Bankston is looking for his young team to fix the careless mistakes.
"There's no moral victories for us because we're all freshman, sophomores, and juniors," Bankston said. "We expect to win every game we play. Our previous three games, we're giving up 20 point leads cause we're careless. This game we had to fight from behind because we're careless. Watch for us to be playing our best ball around January or February."