Basketball picks up key win to advance in state playoffs

Basketball beats Niles North to move on to Sectional Championship

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Despite being down late in the third quarter, New Trier Boys Basketball came back in a double overtime victory over Niles North on Mar. 7.

With two minutes and thirty seconds left in the third quarter, the Trevians trailed the Vikings by 22 points in the Class 4A Maine East Sectional semifinal.

The Trevians defeated the Vikings 77-72 in double-overtime in an unbelievable comeback, sending them to their first sectionals since 2013.

While the high profile of the game was nerve racking, it gave many of the players added excitement.

“I felt a little nervous, but overall excited that I was able to play in the game for sectional semifinals,” said junior center Ciaran Brayboy, who scored 19 points in the game.

The Trevians entered the game as the number two seed with a one win and one loss record against the number three seed Vikings, but felt confident in their chances.

“I loved our chances. We came off a good game against Prospect and we had beaten Niles North earlier in the year so we knew we could do it,” said senior guard and forward Griffin Ryan.

This confidence quickly diminished as the Trevians found themselves down early in the game.

Through the first three quarters, the Vikings shot 21 of 34 from the field, while the Trevians fell behind due to many turnovers.

“Live ball turnovers caused us to fall behind [in the first three quarters],” said Brayboy.

With two minutes and thirty seconds left in the third, the momentum appeared to be in favor of the Vikings who were leading the Trevians 51-29.

This momentum changed as the Trevians went on a 16-3 run to start the fourth quarter.

This change in momentum translated to confidence as the Trevians began to sink more shots.

“In the fourth quarter we really turned up our pressure and they made some of the same turnovers we did earlier, and we finally started hitting shots that we usually make but hadn’t earlier in the game,” said Ryan.

A driving force in the fourth quarter comeback was senior guard Andrew Kirkpatrick, who scored 19 points in the second half.

Head coach Scott Fricke capitalized on Kirkpatrick’s momentum. “I was running [all of the plays] through him,” said Fricke.

This Trevian determination appeared to shake the Vikings, who despite shooting 62% from the field in the first three quarters, fell to only four field goals for the rest of the game.

Fricke’s faith in Kirkpatrick paid off as Kirkpatrick scored with seven seconds left in regulation on the final drive tying the game 61-61 and sending the game to overtime.

The first overtime was not enough to decide the game as it ended in a 65-65 tie, sending the game to a second overtime.

In the second overtime the Trevians were able to edge out the Vikings and win by five points.

New Trier fans, who had been quieter while the Trevians were down throughout the first three quarters, were in full force cheering on the Trevians in overtime.

“Basketball is such a momentum game and we had the momentum going into the overtimes. I still don’t know how [the comeback] happened, though,” said Brayboy, who was unable to play for majority of the second half due to an ankle injury, but came back in the game during overtime.

This victory sent the Trevians to the Class 4A Maine East Sectional versus long standing rival Evanston on Mar. 9. The Trevians were unable to complete another comeback and fell to the Wildkits 69-57.

Despite never leading during regulation versus the Vikings, the Trevians were able to chip away at their deficit and earn a victory fans will remember for the ages. As well as a momentous comeback, this victory was Fricke’s 200th win as  head coach.

Perseverance and determination was ultimately the deciding factor between the teams.

“Before the fourth quarter we all just silently agreed that we’re gonna give the last quarter everything we had, while they played a little more tentative with the lead. That was the biggest difference,” Ryan said.

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