By Drake Skleba
For the Enterprise 

The 'Brook's Three Amigos pay back H-F to share SWSC Blue title with Vikings


Last updated 2/26/2020 at 10am

Back on February 7 in Flossmoor, Homewood-Flossmoor made 29 of their 45 shots from the field against visiting Bolingbrook. Included in their 45 shots were the Vikings' knocking down nine of their 15 shots from beyond the arc. H-F blasted the Raiders 71-56, to take over sole-possession of first-place in the Southwest Suburban Blue.

On Tuesday night in Bolingbrook, led by Bolingbrook's version of the Three Amigos, the Raiders held off the Vikings 70-67.

Senior Darius Burford and juniors Kai Evans and Isaiah Stafford make up the Bolingbrook version of the the Three Amigos.

Evans dropped 30 points on the Vikings and hold H-F's Coastal Carolina-bound senior RJ Ogom to just nine points, two in the second half.

The Elon University-bound Burford (23 points) scored 13 first-half points and along with 11 points from Evans gave the Raiders a 31-26 lead at halftime.

Next year Burford and Ogam will again be rivals as Coastal Carolina and Elon are members of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Evans scored nine-points in the third quarter and Burford chipped in with eight points giving the Raiders a 53-48 lead after three quarters.

The fourth quarter was an all-out war.

H-F (23-4, 7-1) opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run erasing the Raider lead 55-53 with six minutes remaining.

Evans answered with a long-range three-point bomb to regain the lead for the Raiders at 56-55.

With five minutes remaining, H-F senior guard Joel Watts (20 points, five rebounds, five steals), would score to give the Vikings a 58-57 lead with five minutes remaining.

A Burford bucket, was followed by a personal 5-0 run from Evans and two free-throws from Stafford, which concluded a 9-0 Raider run and a 66-59 lead with 2:40 left.

Led by Watts, who would score 18 of his 20 points, in the second half,10 of those in the fourth quarter, brought the Vikings back to within 68-67, with 9.6 seconds left.

Like in the movie, the third member of "The Brook's Three Amigos, the junior Isaiah Stafford, would save the day. Stafford (nine points), went to the line with two charity tosses.

"I went up to the line knowing what I had to do," Stafford said. "I had to make both free-throws, to make H-F have to tie us with a three-pointer. Our outstanding defense would prevent that from happening. I looked at the situation as any other free-throws and calmly, made them both ."

With the win, the Raiders improve to 26-5 overall and finish 7-1 in the SWSC Blue, good enough for a share of the 2020 SWSC Blue co-championship.

"The Three Amigos" scored 62 of the SWSC Blue co-champion, Raiders' 70 points, tonight. Like the grateful Mexican villagers in the Hollywood version, The City of Bolingbrook, is equally-grateful to their "Three Amigos"

"We were kind of looked down upon by people, after our performance at H-F on February 7," Evans said. "We all played with super energy tonight, to come away with the win and a share of the SWSC Blue championship. They were using a box and one on Darius and that opened the door for me to take over the game."

"This was back and forth game in the fourth quarter," Burford said. "H-F is a great team but we were not going to lose. My bro Kai was just outstanding for us tonight. He took the ball right to the hoop and totally shut down Ogom, especially in the second half. Without Kai's performance tonight, we are not SWSC Blue co-champions."

"The SWSC Blue co-championship is nice but they aren't that excited in there, about it," Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. "They really wanted to win the conference outright. What an outstanding game from Kai, who took over the game."

The Raiders' (26-5) road to Peoria will begin on Tuesday night at the IHSA Class 4A Oswego East Regional with a match-up with Plainfield East (10-20).


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