HC SQUARED:  It's the Best Game in Town

Replay Review: 2017

Saint Rita was the lone new addition to the tournament field for 2017.

DePaul Prep was anxious to start the tournament, but had to wait a few extra minutes as the Crete-Monee bus arrived late delaying the start of third annual Holiday Classic.  The Rams got back on schedule in the second quarter and outscored the Warriors 18-3 in the second eight minutes en route to a 43-30 victory.  Stevenson erased a 10-point halftime deficit to stun  Homewood-Flossmoor 48-47.  Jackson Qualley and Nick Bonk combined for 13 fourth quarter points for the Patriots.  Saint Rita outlasted Westinghouse 60-53, outscoring the Warriors 19-8 in the final quarter.  Saint Rita turned 18 offensive rebounds into 21 second chance points.  Maine South scored the game's first 15 points and never looked back in their 62-49 win over Richards. 

Rockford Auburn advanced to the winners bracket for the third straight year defeating Glenbrook North 50-40.  The Knights opened the game with a 12-2 run.  Defending HCHC champ Bolingbrook won their fifth game in as many tries at Hinsdale with a 53-36 triumph over previously undefeated Urban Prep Englewood.  Saint Charles East edged the host Hinsdale Central Red Devils 70-68 in two overtimes.  In the second extra period Saint Charles' Justin Hardy's two hand slam, with 25 seconds remaining, gave the Saints a lead the would never relinquish.  Terrence Shannon's 26-point performance led Lincoln Park to a 67-61 upset first round victory over Marian Catholic. 

Homewood-Flossmoor, Westinghouse, Glenbrook North and Marian Catholic won second round consolation bracket contests.  In winners' bracket action, DePaul Prep advanced to the Final Four for the second straight year in their 49-36 victory over Stevenson.  The Rams held Stevenson to 9-for-32 shooting from the floor and 2-of-12 from the three-point arc.  Saint Rita posted their second straight comeback victory defeating Maine South 48-43.  The Hawks started out red hot with a 19-8 first quarter advantage.  The Mustangs took the lead for good in the fourth quarter, finishing the game on 12-0 run.  Bolingbrook opened the quarterfinal game against Rockford Auburn with a 15-4 run to start the game.  Tyler Cochran scored a game high 22 for the Raiders, who outrebounded the Knights 46-28.  Lincoln Park built a sixteen-point lead with two minutes remaining in the game, before Saint Charles East pulled within three in a ferocious comeback which just fell short, as the Lions prevailed 76-73.  Both teams brought their "A" games on offense, as Lincoln park shot 64 percent from the field and the Saints tallied a 63 percent success mark from the floor.

South suburban rivals Homewood-Flossmoor and Marian Catholic both posted consolation bracket victories.  Maine South ousted Stevenson 66-64 in double overtime and Saint Charles beat Rockford Auburn 61-35 in the fifth place bracket.  In a semi-final match up pitting two teams from the Chicago Catholic League, first time HCHC entrant Saint Rita advanced to the championship game by defeating DePaul Prep 56-37.  The Mustangs had eight players put points on the scoreboard and were led by Javon Cooley who scored 15 points off the bench.  DePaul's Raheem Anthony tallied 15 points for the Rams.  Bolingbrook made it to the HCHC championship game for the second straight year in their 59-56 victory over Lincoln Park.  The Raiders guard tandem of Kaleb Thornton and Joseph Yesufu combine for 28 points.  Chris Roberts paced Lincoln Park with 20 points.

Marian Catholic opened their Consolation Championship game with 11-3 run to start the game versus Homewood-Flossmoor and never trailed.  The Spartans Ahron Ulis scored 17 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 at the free throw line.  Maine South captured the fifth place trophy by defeating Saint Charles East 80-67.  The Hawks Essam Hamwi scored 27 points in the victory.  Saint Charles' Justin Hardy scored a game-high 28 points and furthered his all-time HCHC career scoring mark of 233 points over the past three years.  Lincoln Park recorded a wire-to-wire victory over DePaul Prep in the third place game.  Terence Shannon had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The third annual Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic championship followed the usual come-from-behind script for Saint Rita.  Bolingbrook built a 34-25 halftime lead, thanks to five three-point baskets in the first quarter.  But in typical fashion the Mustangs came back, starting the second half on a 11-2 run to pull even at 36-36.  The lead changed hands three times at the start of the fourth quarter until Saint Rita pulled ahead for good on a Joel Watts three-pointer with five minutes to play.  The Musatngs shot 41 percent from the floor but were an impressive  77 percent from the free throw line.  Watts scored 13 for Saint Rita and Tyler Cochran led the Raiders with 14 points and 10 rebounds.  Saint Rita entered the tournament with a losing 5-7 win-loss record and recorded four victories in four days to claim the title in their first attempt.

Saint Rita's Jordan Matthews was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.  The remainder of the first team of the All-Tournament Team included Tyler Cochran of Bolingbrook; Essam Hamwi of Maine South; Justin Hardy of Saint Charles East; and Terence Shannon of Lincoln Park. 


Saint Charles East's Justin Hardy became the all-time career scoring leader at the HCHC with 233 points over three years

The host Red Devils have played in six overtime games in their first 12  HCHC contests
since the event began in 2015

Saint Rita recorded three fourth quarter comebacks in winning the
2017 title in their first appearance at HCHC

Jordan Mathews was named
tournament MVP in 2017








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