PONTIAC, IL — Late in the fourth quarter it seemed unlikely that Oak Park would maintain its unbeaten records and play in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament semifinals on Saturday.
But Isaiah Fuller just would not go away and the Huskies received a couple fortunate breaks to beat Bloomington 61-60 in the first quarterfinal game on Friday.
Oak Park trailed by five with 5:12 to play. Fuller scored seven in the next three and a half minutes to pull the Huskies (9-0) within one point. Anthony Roberts’ bucket in the post gave them the lead for good with 42 left.
“[Fuller] was phenomenal,” Oak Park coach Matt Maloney said. “Chase Robinson and [Roberts] elevated their games too.
The Huskies were without junior Dashon Enoch for the second consecutive game. He’s one of the Oak Park’s best players, a good ball handler and the second-leading scorer. Enoch was involved in a collision in practic and is under a strict concussion protocol. Maloney doubts he will be available tomorrow.
“It’s not looking good at this point unfortunately,” Maloney said.
Fuller finished with 24 points. Robinson scored 15 and Roberts added 11.
Bloomington junior Chris Payton is a force, one of the state’s best players. He had 24 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Payton had several chances to win the game in the final few seconds. He missed two shots and was called for traveling. The game ended on a controversial no-call after Payton went up under the rim to try and score.
“He’s an excellent player,” Maloney said. “We did a good job of trying to be physical and limit his touches.”
Oak Park will face the Curie-West Aurora winner in the semifinals on Friday.Tags: 2017 pontiac tournament, Bloomington, oak park