Entering the York Sectional semifinals, the Lyons Township boys basketball team’s game plan to defeat the host Dukes focused on two objectives: First, to play a packed in 2-3 zone defense to negate York’s size advantage in Frank Toohey and Justin Kurash, and second, to limit scoring opportunities/touches for the Dukes’ star senior guard David Cohn.
The Lions held the aforementioned three players in relative check for three quarters, but Charlie Rose and Cohn turned it on late to hand the Lions a 62-51 loss last week in Elmhurst.
“The previous two times we played York [both LT losses] this season, their big guys gave us problems,” LT coach Tom Sloan said. “We played our 2-3 zone hoping to take away opportunities and work inside-out to Cohn.”
Toohey and Kurash finished with only seven points, collectively, and the high-scoring Cohn had 11 through three quarters.
Charlie Rose, who made six three-pointers on the night, proved to be the unexpected difference maker for the Dukes.
Rose scored seven straight points during a key run to put York up by 10 early in the fourth quarter. From there, Cohn provided the knockout punch, scoring 14 of his game-high 25 points in the final period. Collectively, Rose and the Colorado State-bound Cohn tallied 48 points on the night.
LT sophomore guard Harrison Niego scored 14 points and senior swingman Christopher O’Reilly had 12 points. Junior reserve Sam Cybulski chipped in nine points.
In their postseason opener, the Lions notched a 67-56 victory over Willowbrook in the York Sectional quarterfinals. Four players reached double figures, led by junior Matt Mrazek’s 16 points along with solid efforts from O’Reilly (13 points), Connor Onion (11 points) and Cybulski (10 points).
The Lions finished 13-15 on the season. While O’Reilly and sharpshooter Jarryd Heath are seniors, much of LT’s core remains intact for next season with Niego expected to be a major Division I prospect. Cybulski, Mrazek and Chris Hester, who all played key roles for the Lions, are also expected to return for LT.