By Drake Skleba
For the Enterprise 

Spartans poor shooting, crucial late game mistakes hand Oswego an improbable SPC Crossover win

Plainfield North win big, Benet, Lisle and Plainfield Central win, too


Last updated 1/29/2020 at 3:35pm

On Tuesday night, the Southwest Prairie Conference West leaders Oswego (17-3, 7-2 West) hosted the SPC East's second-place team, Romeoville (13-11, 8-3 East) in an important SPC Crossover game.

Despite turning the ball over 26 times and being out-rebounded 42-26, allowing 19 offensive rebounds and a little luck, the host Panthers came away with the 65-59 victory in overtime.

Shooting just 28 percent from the floor for the game and turning the ball over 17 times themselves did not help the Spartan cause.

Fresno State-bound senior Destin Whitaker scored 19 points and hauled down 13 rebounds for Romeoville. The future Bulldog misfired on 13 of his 18 shots from the field. Six-foot-5 junior Trayton Trice also had a double-double with 10 points and grabbed a dozen boards. Trice, like Whitaker, misfired on more attempts than he converted.

With 5:49 remaining in regulation, Whitaker buried his third triple of the game to give the Spartans a 53-47 lead. Whitaker picked up his fourth foul of the game with 4:19 remaining in regulation.

Dakoda Joachim's free-throw put the Spartans up 45-39 with 4:14 in regulation.

Led by senior guards Joey Niesam (28 points) and Jack Kahoun (23 points), Oswego went out on a 9-0 run, sparked by Kahoun's four-point play, to give the Panthers a 47-46 lead with 3:13 left in regulation. An inside bucket for a 49-46 Panther lead with 1:57 left in regulation.

As he has done all season for the Spartans, senior Keedan Foster rescued Romeoville in the fourth quarter after being shutout in the first three quarters of the game.

Foster (13 points, two 3's), rode in like the 7th Cavalry for the Spartans and buried a long-range three point bomb to tie the game at 49-49 with 2:30 in regulation.

After Oswego grabbed a 51-49 lead with 1:58 left, Foster drove to the basket and was fouled. Foster missed both charity tosses but redeem himself with a steal and feed to Whitaker for the tying basket with 30 seconds in regulation.

In overtime, Niesam took over the game scoring 10 of his game-high 28 points. Foster closed out the Spartan scoring with another triple in the overtime.

"We pick up 19 offensive boards, turn them over 26 times and still the lose game," Romeoville coach Marc Howard said. "We made too many crucial mistakes in the fourth quarter and the overtime.

"We came out flat in the first half, played very well in the second half to get the lead and then made those mistakes down the stretch that cost us the game."


Plainfield North 79 Lincoln-Way West 56

The Tigers (12-7) jumped out to a 26-12 first quarter lead, extended the lead to 42-24 at the half and rolled past the Warriors on Plainfield's North Side. Senior Cooper Bridges scored 22 points and hauled down six rebounds to lead the Tigers.

Senior Billy Ellinghaus began practicing for the IHSA State Three-Point Shooting contest in March by burying six oh his ten shots from beyond the arc for 18 of his 20 points.

Six-foot-8 Colin O'Rourke chipped in with 11 points and seven boards for the Tigers.

Benet Academy 63 Naperville North 50

The Redwings (16-5) rolled past the Huskies (10-10) in Lisle.

Plainfield Central 82 Bradley-Bourbonnais 62

The Wildcats (13-8) crushed the Boilermakers (10-10) in Plainfield.


Lisle 54 Reed-Custer 32

With IC-8 leader, Manteno's (13-8, 8-2) loss to Coal City (13-9, 7-3) and the Lions win in Braidwood, Lisle (13-10, 8-2), Manteno and Streator (14-5, 8-2) are all atop the IC-8 standings.


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