BOYS BASKETBALL

T.F. South boys keep conference title hopes alive

2014-02-18T19:00:00Z 2014-02-19T02:22:07Z T.F. South boys keep conference title hopes aliveMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
February 18, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

LANSING | Donald Stone's reverse slam dunk with 12.5 seconds left put the exclamation point on T.F. South's 62-53 South Suburban Blue win over Oak Forest on Tuesday.

It also kept alive the Rebels' chance to win their first conference title in program history. T.F. South must win out against Lemont on Friday and at SSC-leader Hillcrest on Feb. 28.

Stone took control in the fourth quarter with eight of his game-high 18 points. He also had three rebounds and a big steal that he turned into a basket.

"We want to have that chance to make some history," Stone said. "We want to be that team that when we come back 20, 30 years from now, we can say we got a conference title.

"Of course, we have to win our remaining conference games, and Lemont and Hillcrest will be tough games."

A halftime talk from coach John O'Rourke got the Rebels going. After a sluggish second quarter in which the Rebels trailed 28-27, Stone said his coach reminded them of their goals.

"He told us if we want to accomplish our goals, we have to take care of tonight first," Stone said. "Coach said go out and play hard and with confidence. We knew if we played our game, we could win."

The Rebels (12-12, 9-2) fell behind 33-27, but came back with a 12-0 run to take a 39-33 lead on a pair of Jamahre Baker free throws with a minute left in the third quarter. South never trailed again.

Baker came off the bench to score 13 points. A regular starter, he missed Monday's practice for a college visit and did not start.

Stone kept Oak Forest's 6-foot-9 Kyle Flanagan off the boards and limited him to two second-half field goals. Flanagan finished with 16 points.

"That was a team effort with DeAson (Taylor), Wendell (Daniels) and Lawrence Lemon," Stone said. "We also played tough defense, and I had a lot of help. Offensively, my teammates fed me the ball."

O'Rourke said Stone has stepped up in big games several times.

"Donald is not an outspoken leader, but he gets the job done, but he does what it takes to be successful," O'Rourke said. "We had that bad second quarter, but we regrouped and got it together. We played tough defense down the stretch."

Flanagan led the Bengals (18-5, 8-3) with 16 points.

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