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Peotone Loses at Oak Forest

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By Dennis Bowling

Peotone Coach Bryce Shafer has a very talented team, but the Blue Devils still are having trouble closing out their games, and that was especially clear against Oak Forest on January 14.

The Blue Devils’ junior Caleb Hunter, who is a talented 6-foot-6 forward, scored a team high 11 points, which included a pair of late baskets, while hauling down eight rebounds. Never-the-less, Oak Forest edged Peotone, 51-41, in a non-conference contest in Oak Forest.

We’re just not a very good team,” said Blue Devils Coach Bryce Shafer. “Right now, we’ll see what happens. Things just need to be better. We were making turnovers, and our defense is just not there.

Caleb did have some good moments on offense. He has a lot of potential and needs to live up to it. I am very happy with the play of Jack (O’Boyle). He was a real workhorse for us.”

With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Oak Forest had a 46-37 lead. At that point, Hunter made back-to-back baskets, which cut the Bengals’ lead to 46-41. After that, the Blue Devils struggled with their ballhandling and the running of their offense.

Earlier in the game, my shots were just not falling,” said Hunter. “I was happy to make those baskets at the end of the game. We have to work on our defense, and we have to work together as a team.”

After that, the Blue Devils’ (6-10) Jack Halverson (9 points) threw up back-to-back shots that missed the basket. Peotone had their chances to beat Oak Forest but just ran out of time.

It was a rough game for everyone,” said Halverson. “Jack (O’Boyle) did come to play. We just need to get better as a team.”

Peotone had a 14-9 first quarter lead. An O’Boyle basket narrowed the Oak Forest lead to 26-24 at halftime. The Bengals owned a 39-29 advantage at the close of the third stanza. To start the fourth quarter, an O’Boyle free throw and a Halverson jumper cut the Bengals’ margin to 39-32. Later, O’Boyle narrowed Oak Forest’s advantage to 41-34 with a bucket. A Halverson trey sliced the deficit to 44-39, and then Shafer called time out.

Peotone’s O’Boyle, a two-sport standout, finished with nine points, five rebounds and two steals.

This was a tough loss,” he said. “We need to execute better on defense. We have to make our shots. We have to learn from this setback. Caleb had some good drives to the basket. Jack (Halverson) was struggling. We all should have stepped up.”

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