Downers Grove North wins IHSA Boys Basketball Regional over Neuqua

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IHSA boys basketball playoffs are on, as six-seed Neuqua Valley travels to the Downers Grove North Regional. The host Trojans are a two-seed and enter after thrashing Naperville Central 64-29 in the Regional Semi’s, while Neuqua beat Downers Grove South 50-37. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Downers North and Neuqua Valley basketball exchange threes in the first half

Things get going early in the game.  Still tied at zero, but Owen Thulin’s jump shot is good for the game’s first points, making it 3-0.

The Wildcats would respond.  Down 5-4, Joe Balgro passes it to Colin Garrity who gets this trey ball attempt to go through to give Neuqua its first lead of the night, up 7-5.

Neuqua would keep the lead up 10-9, until Bobby Grganto throws it over to Alex Miller who buries in another three.  The Trojans retake the lead up 12-10.

The Wildcats would retake the lead up 13-12 but it wouldn’t last for long as Jack Stanton gets in on the three-point action with one of his own to give North a 15-13 lead.

The Trojans would make it 17-15 and are looking to add to it in the half, as Thulin runs down some of the clock, and makes quick work sending it to Miller who buries down another trey ball.  The Trojans lead 20-15 at the half.

Downers Grove North uses strong defense to go on a run

In the third quarter, the Trojans would jump out.  Aiden Akkawi throws it to the middle for Jake Reimer who sends in another three to make it 23-15 Trojans.

They would get in defensively as well, Neuqua looking to throw it in, but it’s intercepted by Miller and the ball finds its way to Stanton who sends through a deep three to extend the lead 28-15.

The Trojans would go up 31-15 but Neuqua looks to rally as Whitman Charboneau from the middle of the field, buries through a much-needed three-ball to make it 31-18.

A few possessions later with the score now 33-25, Luke Kinkade can overcome the Trojan defense and puts in the three-ball over three defenders.  Neuqua cuts the lead down to 33-28.

The Wildcats would be knocking on the door just a couple possessions later as Joe Balgro from the middle of the field sends in the trey ball. Neuqua trails 34-31.

Trojans pull away to win the IHSA Basketball Regional Final

The Trojans, however, would put things away on the next possession, as Thulin gets this three-ball from the right side and sinks it through to extend the lead up 37-31.

Then to ice things up, the Trojans play keep away, ending with Riemer sending it home with this dunk to make it 48-34.  The Trojans would keep the edge over the Wildcats and win the Downers Grove North Regional 54-39, advancing to the Sectional Semifinals with their 15th home win in 16 tries.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!