Free throws give team win in regional tournament

Photo by Nayeli Lara
By attempting 24 more free throws and making 17 more than Waubonsie Valley High School, the boys basketball team was able to win 44-33 on Monday night. They advance to the next level of regional play on Wednesday against York High School. Junior Tai Bibbs shot 60 percent from the free throw line.

By Nayeli Lara, Online Production Editor

After being down for most of the game, the boys basketball team was able to come back in the fourth quarter and beat Waubonsie Valley High School Monday night to advance in regional play.

Waubonsie was seeded 22nd out of 22 schools in the East Aurora Class 4A sectional, West Chicago was seeded 11th.

The first quarter of the game was low scoring, 11-6, with Waubonsie in the lead. West Chicago was not able to finish a lot of their shots and Waubonsie senior Trevon Moore scored 7 points in the first.

Moore, who went on to lead Waubonsie in scoring with 18 points, only scored two points in the second quarter. West Chicago’s defense improved and they were able to cut down the lead to 12-14.

The biggest hit to the team was free throws in the first half. West Chicago only made two of their seven attempts, while Waubonsie was able to make one of their two.

“We didn’t execute the the game plan that we needed to win this ball game in the first half,” varsity coach Bill Recchia said. “In the second half we got back to what we needed to do.”

The game plan for the team was to get to the free throw line and it was what won them the game.

“We practice free throws a lot, the amount we missed was uncharacteristic of us,” junior guard Tai Bibbs said.

Free throw percentage for the first half for West Chicago was 29 percent. In the second half, West Chicago attempted 22 free throws and made 16, 73 percent shooting.

It was not until 2 minutes left in the third quarter that West Chicago took the lead. From then on there were several lead changes, but Waubonsie fouled early and put West Chicago in the bonus. Two Waubonsie starters had four fouls and one had three in the fourth quarter.

Waubonsie scored 11 points in the fourth, but they were not able to keep up with the 20 points West Chicago put up, including 12 points in foul shots.

“It was obviously a rough game, but we’re happy that we won,” Bibbs said. Bibbs made six of his 10 free throws all in the fourth quarter.

Tai Bibbs lead in scoring with 12 points, followed by senior Mike Bibbs with 11 and senior Quinn Ricci with 10. These three players were also named All-Conference.

The next game is Wednesday against sixth seed York High School at Lyons Township High School starting at 7 p.m.

“We’re just going to come out and play harder than we did and hopefully advance to the championship,” Bibbs said.

As well as advancing in the regional tournament, boys basketball won the conference championship being 7-3 in conference play and sharing the title with Glenbard East.

“It’s a great feather in their cap. It’s the first time in the entire school history, 113 years this school has been in existence and it’s the first time a boys varsity team has won. It’s a great accomplishment and it’s something to be proud of,” Recchia said.

Extra practices on Sunday were another way for the team to stay in shape and focused to reach their goal. “We worked hard for a very long time,” senior forward Alec Dolan said.