Fans Shut Out of Packed Mooseheart vs. Hinckley-Big Rock Game
Mooseheart's Sudanese players were bested by the Royals in a 58-51 loss Wednesday night.
Mooseheart's basketball team faced off against Hinckley-Big Rock on Wednesday in a rivalry game of unrivaled proportions—with IHSA sanctions, international intrigue, Sudanese students' rights, network-media hype and a judge's ruling serving as the backdrop.
So intense was the spotlight and interest in the game that fans flooded the Royals' homecourt to get a glimpse, and some had to be turned away at the door.
Mooseheart's boys basketball team was able to recover from a bad start in Wednesday's contest at Hinckley-Big Rock. But a drought down the stretch – even with a 10-point lead? That was too much for the Rambers to withstand – and the host Royals took full advantage.
Hinckley-Big Rock had a 21-4 run in the final five minutes to record a 58-51 victory. Overall, H-BR (5-1) outscored Mooseheart (3-3) 25-10 in the final quarter.
This was the second game featuring the Sudanese students following a judge's decision to issue a restraining order against the IHSA-imposed sanctions against the players.
“The name of the game is to not let anyone score 25 points against us,” Mooseheart coach Ron Ahrens said. “They scored 25 points on us in the fourth quarter. That should never happen.”
After leading most of the second half, the Ramblers (3-3) took their lead to 47-37 with 5:01 to play when Mangisto Deng scored a dunk, was fouled and completed the three-point play.
“At that time, I thought we were going to win this game,” Ahrens said.
Hinckley-Big Rock started its run swiftly with solid shooting from three-point range. The key was Jared Madden, who opened the comeback with a three-pointer and finished with 24 points in the contest.
“We kept losing their three-point shooters,” Ahrens said. “That kid (Madden) has been a good player for a number of years. We kept losing him. They kept running nice screens and we weren't defending very well.”
Mooseheart still led 51-45 with three minutes to play after Deng scored hit team's final points of the contest. Three straight turnovers helped the Royals close the gap and then take the lead.
“That was the killer,” Ahrens said.
Mooseheart got off to a slow start and Hinckley-Big Rock scored the opening 10 points. But starting with a Makur Puou basket three minutes into the game, the Ramblers went on a 15-point run to close the quarter.
“That was bad defense again,” Ahrens said of his team's start. “We just weren't ready to play defense. They came out and hit a couple of three's right away. I called time out and basically all I told them was to relax and that we had to start playing some defense.”
Puou led all scorers with 25 points.
“We played hard,” Puou said. “We play to get better every game. I know we're coming to play and have fun.”
Deng added 13 points but no one else scored more than six points for Mooseheart.
The information about this game is courtesy of Mooseheart Child City & School.
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