Basketball

High school boys basketball: Crystal Lake South tops Hampshire behind Matt Reall's 27 points

CL South moves into virtual tie for FVC lead

Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage and Tyler Miller celebrate a play Friday against Hampshire in Crystal Lake. South won, 46-30.
Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage and Tyler Miller celebrate a play Friday against Hampshire in Crystal Lake. South won, 46-30.

CRYSTAL LAKE – An airball on Matt Reall’s first shot turned out to be an aberration rather than an omen.

After that, the Crystal Lake South forward hardly missed. The 6-foot-5 senior seemed blessed while everyone else, on both sides, seemed cursed.

“Basketball was a lot of fun tonight,” Reall said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. After that first shot, I was like, ‘Oh, boy!’ Then I hit one off the dribble and was kind of like, ‘Sweet!’ My teammates tried to get me the ball a little more on the press break. A shout-out to them for helping me get those buckets.”

Reall hit 11 of 18 shots and scored 27 points as the Gators defeated Hampshire, 46-30, in their Fox Valley Conference boys basketball game Friday at The Swamp. The win lifted South (15-6, 7-3 FVC) into a virtual first-place tie in the conference with Crystal Lake Central (12-6, 6-2) and Dundee-Crown (15-4, 7-3).

“The ball just hit [Reall] in the right spots, and he took advantage,” Gators coach Matt LePage said. “He hit some big ones.”

Reall scored 17 points in the first half as South built a 27-10 lead. Reall hit a 3 with a minute remaining in the half, then missed a 3, but Gators forward Casey Haskin leaped out of bounds to flip the ball behind his back to a teammate, who fed Reall for another 3 with 32 seconds to go.

“The rest of the team really struggled to find the rim and shoot the ball,” South forward Tyler Miller said. “Matt was all over the place, hitting 3s and driving. It’s fun to have him on the team. You always know he’s a threat to score.”

Hampshire (12-9, 6-4) beat South, 61-55, in their first meeting and hit 11 3s. LePage switched from South’s usual 1-3-1 trapping defense to man-to-man to better deal with the Whip-Purs’ shooters.

“We guarded the line. Our communication was way better,” LePage said. “We had two really good days leading up, and our guys were focused and dialed in.”

The Whips were 3 of 22 from the field in the first half and 11 of 48 for the game.

“We got decent looks; they weren’t falling,” Whips coach Ben Whitehouse said. “Teams are doing a good job getting on our shooters and pressuring us to get to the rim. If we don’t make them, I don’t know what to tell you. We had opportunities early, and we didn’t convert.”

Hampshire hit 5 of 15 in the third quarter to pull within 10 at 31-21 but could not get closer. Reall scored eight more in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

“This means a lot to us,” Reall said. “Our team’s been trying to get toward that goal of winning the conference, and starting the second half of the conference race with two wins is huge.”

STAR OF THE GAME

Matt Reall

Crystal Lake South, sr., F

Reall had game-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds as the Gators beat Hampshire in an FVC game. Reall hit 11 of 18 field-goals and made three 3-pointers.

THE NUMBER

3: Field goals made in 22 attempts by Hampshire in the first half.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

Hampshire guard Kyle Johnson missed his sixth game with an injury he suffered Jan. 5 against Kaneland when an opponent hit heads with him. Johnson’s eyes still have some visible bruising, and his right eye is swollen by his eyebrow. He plans to see A doctor soon for a re-evaluation.

Crystal Lake South 46, Hampshire 30

HAMPSHIRE (30)

Milison 2 3-3 8, Woods 1 1-2 4, J. Anderson 6 1-1 13, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Rose 2 0-0 4, Shaw 0 0-0 0, B. Anderson 0 0-0 0, Bishop 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 6-10 30.

CL SOUTH (46)

Geske 1 0-0 3, Lawson 1 1-2 3, Miller 2 2-4 6, Reall 11 2-3 27, Haskin 1 0-0 2, Fischer 1 2-2 4, Glamoc 0 0-0 0, Jewson 0 0-0 0, Gorken 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 8-11 46.

Hampshire 5 5 12 8 – 30

CL South 14 12 7 13 – 46

3-point goals: Hampshire 2 (Milison, Woods), CL South 4 (Reall 3, Geske). Total fouls: Hampshire 15, CL South 13.

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