Coming off of a dominating 83-54 win over Holy Martyrs Armenian, the Cubs looked to continue their strong start against the Oak Park Eagles.
PG: Uriel Ferguson, #1 (6’1”, PG, Sr.)
SG: John Belardi, #12 (6’3”, SG, Jr.)
SF: Andre Perris, #13 (6’3”, G/F, Sr.)
PF: Remington Rofer, #35 (6’8”, F, Jr.)
C: Colby Brooks, #20 (6’7”, F/C, Sr.)
The Eagles won the opening tip and immediately scored on a layup. After a missed shot by the Cubs, the Eagles scored another two-pointer at the 6:30 mark. The Cubs missed their first three shots until Colby Brooks buried a three with 5:53 to go in the opening quarter. The Eagles added to their lead with a jumper that put them ahead 6-3 with five minutes left in the period. Remington Rofer was blocked going for a layup, leading to another two-pointer for the Eagles with 4:30 to go. The Cubs’ drought ended with a Brooks two-pointer to make it a three-point game with 3:48 left. Andre Perris’ great defense led to a block on the ensuing possession, and Rofer’s jumper put the Cubs within one, 8-7, with 3 minutes left. The Cubs took the lead on a jumper by Brooks with 2:40 to go. The Eagles retook the lead with a three on the following possession. With less than two minutes to go, Jack Kresich and Grant Roquemore checked in for Ferguson and Brooks. Roquemore’s jumper tied the game at 11 at the 1:35 mark. On the next Cubs possession, they showed good ball movement, but Kresich turned the ball over after it went off his leg. Christian Sucuveanu checked in for Rofer at the 1:01 mark. A three-point-play by the Eagles gave them a 14-11 lead with under a minute to go. Kresich’s three tied the game at 14, but the Eagles swished another three to give them the lead at the end of the quarter.
Score: Eagles 17, Cubs 14
Oak Park went on a 7-0 run that was stopped by a Kresich three at the 5:45 mark. They led 24-17. Jalen Cox’s half-court pass resulted in a Roquemore layup, cutting the lead to five with 5:08 left. Shortly after, Rofer and Perris checked in for Roquemore and Sucuveanu. Brooks was fouled and made one of two free throws at the 4:51 mark to make it a 24-20 Eagles lead. A great defensive possession by the Cubs resulted in an Eagles miss, followed by a Cubs turnover that led to an Eagles two-pointer. The lead was extended to six, 26-20, with 4:10 left. At the four-minute mark, an offensive foul was called on Perris, and Belardi checked back into the game for Jalen Cox. The Eagles expanded their lead to nine with a three. Belardi answered with a jumper at the 3:20 mark. Ferguson’s two-pointer cut the Eagles’ lead to five with two minutes to go. The Eagles made a jumper with 1:30 left and led 31-24. An Eagles three gave them a double-digit lead with 48 seconds to go. The quarter ended with a traveling call on Belardi.
Score: Eagles 34, Cubs 24
The Cubs starters were back on the floor for the second half. Brooks missed a two-pointer, but the Eagles were called for a traveling violation on the next possession. Belardi’s steal and layup gave the Cubs their first points of the quarter at the 6:45 mark. The Eagles answered with a two and led 36-26. The Eagles made a three to go up by 13 with 5:39 left. That was followed up by a three-point-play to expand the Eagles’ lead to 16, 42-26, with 5:17 left in the quarter. Brooks made a jumper at the 5:28 mark. The Cubs began a full-court press out of the timeout with 5:03 left, The Eagles made another jumper, and led 44-28 with 4:47 to go. Brooks buried another three to bring the Cubs to within 13, 44-31, with 4:26 remaining. A Brooks block gave the Cubs another possession, but they turned it back over after a Belardi travel. Brooks got another block, but a foul was called. The Eagles made one of two free throws with four minutes to go. Belardi’s three brought the game to an 11-point deficit once again with 3:30 left in the quarter. Roquemore checked in for Brooks at the 2:31 mark. Multiple fouls from both teams led to free throws. Belardi made one of two free throws at the 2:04 mark, and the Eagles made both of their free throws at the 1:25 mark. A blocking foul was called on Roquemore despite great defense. Cox stole the ball and saved it for another possession, but Roquemore missed the jumper at the buzzer.
Score: Eagles 48, Cubs 37
The Eagles got their first bucket of the fourth quarter with a two-pointer with 7:40 to go. Christian Sucuveanu’s two-pointer brought the Cubs back within 11, 50-39, with seven minutes remaining. The Eagles answered with a jumper and led 52-39. The starters came in at the 6:27 mark. Another Brooks three brought the Cubs within ten with 6:12 to go, and the comeback was on. Belardi’s two decreased the Eagles’ lead to eight, 52-44, with 5:54 left. A three-second violation was called for the Eagles, and the Cubs secured another possession, but could not score. Once again, the Cubs utilized the full-court press, Brooks’ two-pointer put the game at a 52-46 deficit with 4:40 to go. Perris picked up his fourth foul at the 3:54 mark, and Roquemore subbed in for him. The Eagles made both free throws. There had been three Cub fouls up to that point. The Eagles soared in for a tip-in off of a missed three and led 56-46 with 3:07 left. Brooks’ layup attempt was blocked at the 2:40 mark. The Cubs came up with a steal, but Belardi missed a layup in transition. The Cubs committed another foul, and the Eagles made both free throws with 2:29 left. Belardi went up for a layup and got rejected again with 2:15 to go. With about two minutes to go, Rofer missed a layup, but Brooks grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws, but the Eagles still led 58-48. Belardi intentionally fouled an Eagles player, who made both free throws at the 1:08 mark. Brooks made another three to bring the deficit within six, 60-54, with a minute to go, Rofer committed an intentional foul with 57 seconds left. The Eagles made one of two free throws. Belardi missed a layup and the Cubs believed there was an uncalled foul. Intentional fouls were committed by the Cubs, resulting in free throws for the Eagles. They made five of six free throws to end the game.
FINAL: Eagles 66, Cubs 54
The Cub of the Game was Colby Brooks, who had 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Brooks said, “I think [the key to my performance] was my teammates kicking me the ball out on the three-point line. I was able to drive the ball against a 6’7” guy. I think I did well, but we still have to come back better tomorrow and get a W.” On offense, Brooks said, “I thought we did well on setting our screens, getting the open man, hitting consistent three-point shots, We have to work on being tougher around the rim. If we do that, then nobody can stop us.”