HC SQUARED:  Building a New Tradition of Basketball at Its Best


Box Score

HINSDALE, Ill. – Christian Meek proved unstoppable in the paint as Homewood-Flossmoor rolled past Willowbrook 75-59 in game two of the 2021 Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic.

The first quarter was a track meet from the get-go, as both teams flew up and down the floor at every opportunity. Homewood-Flossmoor was most effective in the paint, which featured three first-quarter dunks by Christian Meeks among his eight points. Willowbrook's Marquel Saleek countered with eight points of his own, which included an impressive sequence with a steal, layup through contact and the free throw. Willowbrook full-court press gave H-F problems throughout the quarter, but the Vikings found good success driving the lane relentlessly once they got through the press. Willowbrook held a 22-21 lead after eight minutes of action.

The pace slackened noticeably for the rest of the game. Both sides chose a more methodical half-court offense, which ultimately played to H-F's advantage as time went on thanks to height advantage. The two sides only scored 24 points combined in the second quarter, but it was the Vikings who slowly started to grab control. An 11-0 run put H-F up 34-26, and the score stood at 36-31 in favor of the Vikings.      

Meeks was a continual thorn in Willowbrook's side. The big man consistently got the ball in good positions on the block and finished his in-close looks or drew fouls. By the end of the third quarter, he was up to 22 points. The Warriors drew to within 38-37, but the Vikings did not let them back in the game after then. A 7-0 run allowed Homewood-Flossmoor to go up 51-43 by the end of the third.

The Vikings continued to pull away in the fourth. Willowbrook was only able to successfully run offense through Saleek, who made intrepid drives to the hoop and also hit difficult jumpers. However, back-to-back dunks by Meeks and Luis Acevedo put an exclamation point on the proceedings to make it 71-53 in the final minutes. 

Homewood-Flossmoor shot 45.6 percent from the field, 25 percent from beyond the arc (4-16) and 76 percent from the free throw line (19-25). Overall, the Vikings led the rebounding battle 43-33, while turnovers were nearly even at 14-13. Meeks put up a monster line of 29 points and 14 rebounds while throwing down six dunks. He shot 11 of 17 and grabbed eight offensive boards. Nashawn Holmes tallied 16 points. Acevedo filled the stat sheet with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Willowbrook shot 36.4 percent on field goals, 25 percent on threes (6-24) and 71.4 perent on free throws (5-7). Saleek was effective with 27 points and nine rebounds. Noah Campbell put up 11 points and eight rebounds.

Homewood-Flossmoor (5-2 record) will face Saint Rita in Thursday’s quarterfinal at 5:15 p.m. Willowbrook (4-6 record) will next play Lincoln-Way Central in the consolation bracket on Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

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