High school basketball: Michael O’Brien’s notebook

Joliet West’s duo of Jeremiah and Jeremy Fears on the cover of the Washington Tournament of Champions program.

WASHINGTON, ILL.— Jeremy Fears Jr.’s return to Joliet West didn’t go quite as planned, but the Tigers managed to hold on and beat St. Louis Cardinal Ritter 75-72 in overtime at the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions.

Fears said something to a Cardinal Ritter player on the way back to the bench with 1:45 left to play and Joliet West leading 65-59. He picked up a technical foul, which fouled him out of the game.

That led to a four-point swing. Then a turnover and a goaltending call combined to get Cardinal Ritter right back in it. The Lions had a wide-open three-point attempt at the buzzer in regulation but it didn’t fall.

Highly-regarded sophomore Jeremiah Fears, Jeremy’s younger brother, left with what appeared to be a twisted ankle with two minutes left in overtime. Matthew Moore, Joliet West’s other Division I senior, had fouled out in regulation.

But the Tigers managed to hang on and win in overtime thanks to juniors Justus McNair and Drew King and senior Jayden Martin.

“It’s not funny, but I think after tonight, counting Jeremy’s freshman year here and Jeremiah’s freshman year last year that’s 14 technicals between the two of them,” Joliet West coach Jeremy Kreiger said. “There competitive spirits get going so high. They don’t know how to turn that off yet. And that’s got to be me coaching them through those moments.

“I’ll tell them that as star players, everyone’s eyes are always on them. While you may not feel like it …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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