JOLIET – All-tournament selection Kyle Lillwitz (24 points, nine rebounds) hit two free throws with 23 seconds left to assure Lemont of a 47-44 victory over Romeoville in the third-place game of the WJOL Thanksgiving Classic. Other leaders for the Indians (3-1) were Billy Bozue (10 points) and Luke Bailey (seven points, six rebounds), while leaders for the Spartans (2-2) included all-tournament selection Destin Whitaker (22 points, seven rebounds), Tyrell Ross-Childs (eight points) and Keedan Foster (seven points).
BOYS BASKETBALL: WJOL tournament
Joliet Central 48, Minooka 32: The Steelmen (2-2) jumped out to a 19-8 halftime lead over the Indians (1-3) in the fifth-place game. Leading Central were all-tournament selection Kee Hargrow (24 points) and Jalen Williams (six points), while Minooka was led by Jake Faron (10 points) and Shane Ooms (six points).
Lockport 64, Lincoln-Way West 49: After several close calls, the Porters (1-3) captured their first win in the seventh-place game. Leading Lockport were Tommy Ferriter (15 points, six rebounds), Angelo Vassilakis (12 points), Timmy DiCristofano (eight points, six rebounds), Jake Kaczmarek (eight points) and Matas Deksnys (seven points). The Warriors were led by Andrew Pyles (19 points) and Jacob Vassalla (14 points).
Joliet Central 53, Lockport 47: The Steelmen outscored the Porters 32-20 in the final half and 13-7 in the fourth quarter to get their first victory. Central was led by Hargrow (19 points, nine rebounds), Kennell Sutton (16 points) and Isaiah Zabel (nine points) while the Porters were led by Deksnys (15 points) and Ferriter (seven points).
Minooka 72, Lincoln-Way West 64: The Indians (1-2) outscored the Warriors (0-3) 22-8 in the third quarter to pick up their first win. Minooka was led by Trent Hudak (18 points), Faron (15 points), Ooms (14 points) and Jaden Paige (13 points), while the Warriors were led by Connor Jenkins (20 points), Pyles (15 points, 10 rebounds), Vassalla (eight points) and Billy Dozier (eight points).
Joliet West Tournament
Lincoln-Way Central 62, Rich South 60: The Knights (2-1) were led by Sean Curran (24 points) and Ryan Kraft (20 points).
Plainfield South 73, Crete-Monee 64: The Cougars (2-1) were led by Timothy Williams (28 points) and Jeremiah Jones (12 points).
Bolingbrook 80, Peoria 71: The Raiders won to advance to the Decatur Tournament finals against Thornton. Bolingbrook was led by Darius Burford (34 points) and Isaiah Stafford (22 points).
Manteno 66, Coal City 59: The Coalers were led by Payton Hutchings
(23 points) and Jarod Garrelts (17 points).
St. Francis 93, East-West 75: The Saints (4-2) scored 57 points in the second half to win the USF Classic game. Leading USF were Carlos Tovias (19 points), Cole Micek (18 points, six rebounds), Malik Bailey (14 points) and Jorden Thornton (14 points).
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
USF’s Baftiri receives honor: The University of St. Francis’ Sabrina Baftiri, a Morris graduate, can add All-America status to her name as a result of being selected to the 2019 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Team as named by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in a recent announcement made by the national organization.
Baftiri, a junior, was one of 30 women’s cross country student-athletes at the NAIA level to earn the recognition. The two-time (2018-19) All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference runner finished in a team-best 18th place with atime of 18:27.6 at the 5K 2019 NAIA National Championships on Nov. 22, as USF registered a program-record fourth-place team performance among 37 participating schools.
This season, Baftiri posted Top 20 efforts in six of the Saints’ seven meets, which included a second-place 18:41.7 time in the 2019 CCAC Championships on Nov. 9, as USF captured its fourth straight conference championship.
Baftiri clocked her best time this season with 18:27.6 at the NAIA Championships meet, eight seconds off her personal career-best time of 18:19 set at the 2018 NAIA Championships on Nov. 16. The USF women’s cross country team concluded the campaign with its highest national ranking ever of fourth place in the 2019 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll.