Cameron Harris’ layup off a nifty pass from Joseph Yesufu with 42 seconds left gave Jane Addams Middle School a hard fought 30-29 eighth grade boys basketball regional championship victory over Jefferson Junior High Thursday.
The game featured 12 lead changes and five ties as the pesky Wolverines hung in there against the taller, more talented Mustangs who will now meet either Rockford West or Rockford Kennedy in a 6 p.m. Feb. 6 sectional final at Jefferson in Woodridge. The sectional winner advances to the state quarterfinals Feb. 9.
Addams (22-2) turned an 11-10 first quarter advantage into a 15-10 lead in the first minute of the second quarter before committing five turnovers in the final three minutes to give Jefferson a 16-15 halftime lead.
Yesufu’s shoveled put-back and Trey Mack’s runner got the lead back for the Mustangs in the mid third quarter. But after a Jefferson comeback, Yesufu (11 points, 3 steals) hit a layup with 10 seconds to go to tie it at 25.
A Calvell Randall put-back and a Yesufu free throw made it a three point Addams lead with 2:54 left in the game. However, a Jefferson free throw and a drive to the hoop with 1:03 left put the Wolverines up one to set the stage for Harris’ heroics.
Randall (6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 steals) and Mack (6 points, 4 rebounds) came up with key blocks down the stretch and Antwon Allen registered a criticial steal with 35 seconds left.
Harris (3 blocks) scored 6 points for the Mustangs, while Jack Eken added a free throw. Domenic Kimak grabbed 4 rebounds.
Other Addams team members include Capri Stewart, Matthew Bielawski, Cameron Faulk, Mark Bennett, Elijah Porter, Jonathan Banks, Cameron Harrell and Nana Akenton.
The team is coached by Josh Gage with assistance from Jared Ploger.
Editor's note: This is a press release from Valley View School District 365U.
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