Fundamental basketball made the difference in a fourth quarter rally by the Highland Park High School boys team in a 44-37 victory over visiting Niles North to remain unbeaten in Central Suburban League North Division competition.
Trailing 32-27 entering the fourth quarter, the Giants held Niles North to five points while scoring 17 of their own on strong defense and perfect free throw shooting.
“We had a great finish to the game,” Coach Paul Harris said. “(I’m) very proud of our ability to get stops defensively and to hit some big shots, including going six for six from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.” Before the final period, Highland Park made only two of its six free throw attempts.
Highland Park took a 10-8 lead at the end of the first period before Niles North went on a run to take a 22-16 edge at the half. The Giants narrowed the gap by a point in the third quarter before their winning rally in the fourth.
David Sachs continued his hot hand with 18 points on 60 percent field goal shooting and a perfect three for three from the charity stripe to lead all scorers. When he was not putting points in the basket, he was grabbing six rebounds, stealing the ball once and adding an assist.
Luke Norcia added eight tallies along with four assists, two steals and a rebound. He too was perfect from the free throw line at four for four. Jacob Iden contributed seven points, two rebounds and an assist
The Giants are now 11-3 for the season and 4-0 in league play, alone in first place. “(There’s a) long way to go, but we're feeling good about how we are playing,” Harris said. Highland Park travels to Glenbrook North at 7:30 p.m. Friday.