FREEPORT – The St. Francis boys basketball team was neck-and-neck with Sycamore.
All of the sudden, St. Francis was in perfect control at the Class 3A Freeport Sectional, as coach Bob Ward’s team went on the first big run of the game during the third quarter in a 48-38 win.
St. Francis (21-7) ended the third on a 9-0 run, leading by 37-27 going into the fourth. After that, there was only so much Sycamore could do.
“We just miscommunicated on some screens and they got some open looks,” Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy said. “When they got those open looks they made shots, and we didn’t do a good enough job offensively to get the ball inside like we wanted to.
Ward gave credit to his team’s defense, which kept Sycamore (19-11) in check as St. Francis built a lead. Sycamore scored just four points in the third quarter.
“That coincided with us playing what I thought was really, really good defense,” Ward said. “I thought our pressure defense really, really was great in the second half.”
The key dagger for St. Francis was a three-pointer by Tim Zettinger, as the shot went in as the third-quarter buzzer sounded. The three gave St. Francis the game’s first double-digit lead.
Zettinger would lead St. Francis with 19 points. Jason Sullivan would add 12, hitting four big three-pointers in the win.
“What makes him a good three-point shooters is what makes any shooter a good shooter – confidence,” Ward said. “He has got [great] confidence. For a sophomore, that’s sometimes rare to see.”
3A Freeport Sectional
Wednesday's semifinal Rockford Lutheran 57, Woodstock 46
Thursday's semifinal St. Francis 48, Sycamore 38
Today's championship St. Francis vs. Rockford Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.