BROOKFIELD - Reciprocation and physicality were the name of the game in Brookfield on Friday night between the Warriors and John F. Kennedy.
Five players total fouled out, a combined 63 free throws were attempted and with 1 minute and 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the game between the Warriors and the Eagles was tied 54.
The last minute and change was filled with lead changes and clutch foul shots by both teams, but in the end, it was Brookfield getting the 60-59 victory over Kennedy.
"It was a crazy game with a lot of turnovers and a lot of mistakes on both teams," Brookfield coach Bill Kovach said. "They got in foul trouble, we got in foul trouble. We were lucky to get a really good shot with 5 seconds left. We couldn't have asked for a better shot. I think that the makeup of our team right now is that we have one senior that plays and starts. The rest of us are ninth, 10th and 11thgraders. So that win was a program builder for us. We can build on that and get better. It was actually a great moment for our young kids."
After John F. Kennedy's Isaac Carrino put the Eagles up, 59-58, after a foul shot, the Warriors got the ball back with less 5 seconds to go in the game. Brookfield's Davon Sims took a pass from Derrick Dickson and drained the buzzer-beater to give the Warriors the one-point victory.
"It feels really good," Sims said. "I owe it all to my point guard Derrick. He saw me, I filled the lane and he gave me the shot. They're good so it felt good to get that win."
Dickson knew the victory was the result of a team effort by Brookfield.
"It made me feel great," Dickson said. "We worked as a team but I couldn't have done it without the team. We had to work together to get everything and come out like we did and get the win. We just have to calm down and get everything back together, work hard in practice and come in the next game and get that too."
Dickson led his team by scoring two field goals and went 11 of 13 from the line to score 15 points on the night. Caleb Hunkus followed with three baskets and made 5-of-8 foul shots to give him 12.
On Kennedy's side, coach Shawn Pompelia attributed some of their issues to the excessive fouling.
"Three of our starters fouled out," Pompelia said. "We were subbing offense and defense with two freshmen and I thought they did admiral to step up and play when the three starters fouled out. We have to give credit to Brookfield. They played really physical and I think we are only going to get better from this.
"As far as effort, I couldn't be more proud of them. I think that when you start five juniors, every experience is a positive. We are not going to dwell on the negative. We are going to learn from it and get better and move forward to improve this team every day."
Carrino led all scorers with 20 points. Zachary Usher, one of the Kennedy starters to foul out, finished with 15 points.
"I think that we need to handle adversity better as a unit," Pompelia said. "In 32 minutes, everything doesn't go your way and that's where you have to dig down and do what's best for the team. Those are some lessons that I think we have learned from tonight. We will improve from it and we will get better. I'm proud of the effort. This was a heck of a ball game. People definitely got their money's worth."
Kovach credits his squad with not giving up - especially toward the end of the game.
"Perseverance caused us to win that game," Kovach said. "We had a few mistakes at the end that we shouldn't have had. We talked about not fouling 90 feet away from the basket and putting them on the line. I think that we never quit. There were a few times that we could have quit. I give credit to them also because they never quit even though they lost a few of their players. It was a very good game to watch."