Villa Park Goes To The Bank to Beat Crenshaw

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Villa Park center Brice Prather was both Saturday night. The 6-foot-8 senior scored a game-high 22 points, but it was his most improbable point that spurred the Spartans to the 66-65 win over Crenshaw in the Nike Extravaganza VII.

In a back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw eight lead changes, Prather found himself at the line shooting one-and-one with 4.2 seconds left and Villa Park down by one. As the Cougar cheerleaders screamed at the lean center, he took a deep breath and fired. Bank! The bench chuckled at their good fortune, but Prather knew he had more work to do. After Crenshaw tried icing Prather, he calmly strode to the line and swished his second try. Crenshaw couldn't get a quality shot off in the waning seconds and Villa Park had the win.

The key to the game lay at the free throw line. While Villa Park made 13-of-15 for the game, Crenshaw wasn't nearly as good. After canning 5-of-6 in the first half, the Cougars could manage just 6-of-15 from the charity stripe in the second.

In addition to Prather's 22 points, Kyle Hogan had 20, including four triples, and Sean Phaler 12 for the victorious Spartans. Marcus Williams paced three Cougars in double figures with 14 points. Onye Ibekwe and Terrence Jones combined for 23 more, but also were just 5-of-12 from the line between them.

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