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Hawks outlast Schurz to advance to regional final in Loyola

Led by 6-foot-7 senior Nick Ostojic and 6-foot-5 junior Marko Anderson and a gutsy performance from junior guard Sean Gallery the Hawks held off Schurz 59-51.

With the win, Maine South (18-14) advances to the IHSA Class 4A Loyola Academy Regional championship game at 7 p.m. Friday.

The top-seeded host Ramblers (28-4) and 6-foot-8 twin brothers, Bennett and Jordan Kwiecinski will create a battle in the clouds on Friday night in Wilmette.

On Wednesday night Schurz, from Chicago's Northwest Side, came out with fire in their eyes looking to avenge an 86-61 loss to South earlier in the season. With a very-physical attacking defense, the Bulldogs beat on the Hawks and opened up a 26-19 lead at the half.

Coming out of their halftime locker room, the Hawks had fire in their eyes. Led by Anderson, Ostojic and Gallery, the Hawks exploded on a 20-2 run and closed out the third quarter with a 39-32 lead.

Anderson (19 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks, three assists) got four buckets, two on beautiful high-low passes from Ostojic (eight points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, four assists) in the quarter.

"We work on the high-low interior passing game in practice every day," Anderson said. "We want to be known as the Serbian twin towers."

"I always look down low for Marko and together we are very hard to stop,with our inside game," Ostojic said. "I echo Marko's sentiments of the Serbian twin towers."

After getting bloodied and beat up by the Bulldogs in the first half, Gallery was a man-possessed in the second half. Gallery scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, dished out four assists, picked up three steals and hauled down a pair of rebounds.

"Look at my knee (bloody) and my bruised elbow," Gallery said. "It was rough out there but we gave it back to Schurz and got the win. We want to cut the nets down here at Loyola on Friday night."

Frustrated from the beating he took, Gallery picked up a technical foul with 1:16 remaining with the Hawks up 55-47.

Schurz (20-11) closed to within 55-51 with 34.5 seconds left before Gallery finished off the Bulldogs with free-throws.

Senior Casey Clark chipped in with 10 points for the Hawks and knocked down three clutch free-throws in the fourth quarter.

"Schurz is a very good team," Maine South head coach Tony Lavorato said. "They won the Chicago Public League White North-West Division. When we defeated them on Jan. 20, the score wasn't indicative of the way the game was played.

"I was really proud of the kids for the way they battled through all the adversity they faced tonight. We played very well in the third quarter. Sean Gallery is a fighter and is always beat-up after all our games. Eighteen wins for this group is great. I really enjoy coaching this group. We're really looking forward to playing Loyola here on Friday for the regional championship."



The Spartans (17-15) avenged a Jan. 28, 66-59 loss at Oswego (18-12) with the convincing victory on Wednesday at Romeoville.

Up next for the Spartans is a 7 p.m. Class 4A Romeoville Regional Championship Game with the Southwest Prairie East champions, from Joliet West (27-4).

On Dec. 3 in Romeoville, the Tigers defeated the Spartans 60-46. On Jan. 31 at West, the Tigers won again 69-58.



The Porters close out their 2019-20 season at 14-17.


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