This wasn’t just another game Noah Mason and fellow seniors at Oswego East.
Not in the long run.
Their legacy was on their minds Friday, even without the pre-game senior night festivities.
While the Wolves hosted West Aurora in the teams’ third meeting this season, Southwest Prairie experienced a showdown that weighed heavily on West’s championship fight.
“It was huge,” Mason said. “We’ve won five in a row. We don’t want to end that streak this year. We knew this was probably the most important game of the year so far, so
“We came out with energy and played very well”
Mason led the way in this regard and with his scores of 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 65-44 win, he took the Wolves back to a familiar point, first place by half a game.
Mason, a 6-foot-4 guard who committed to Benedictine, added three assists, a steal and a block for Oswego East (18-9, 10-3).
senior guard Jordan Brooks It trailed West Aurora (16-9, 9-3) by 15 points.
“Honestly, this is one of the best games of his high school career,” the Oswego East coach said. Ryan Velasquez He mentioned Mason. “He is capable of doing this every day.
“We don’t put any limits on our guys. I thought we bounced back pretty well collectively as a team. We talked about continuing that. I heard somewhere that if you win the rebounding battle, you have a 70% chance of winning.”
The Wolves, who won their first match against West Aurora 68-56 in the Hoops for Healing Tournament in the season opener and lost 69-51 to the Blackhawks in the conference match on December 5, had a 30-19 advantage in the stands on Friday. .
“We were so thirsty for this,” said Starwood, who was the team’s scoring leader with a 15.8 average. “We needed this. “Despite all the losses we suffered in the conference, we had to fight and make up for them.”
Noah Mason, who ranked second on the team with a 9.5 average, tied with the sophomore guard 6-4. Mason Lockett The team leads in rebounds by 4.5 per person.
senior guard C.J. Savage There were 11 points for West Aurora.
“We wanted to apply pressure and prove that we are a better team after this heavy defeat,” Mason said. “We were playing 1-3-1, 2-3 and man to man. We wanted to keep them on their toes.
“We couldn’t let them warm up or gain momentum because they can go for such a fast run. “We wanted to slow them down as much as possible.”
According to Velasquez, Savage and Brooks were the key players.
“CJ drives the ball so fast, like he’s on a tightrope,” Velasquez said. “We wanted to take that away from him a little bit. We did this from time to time. So we wanted to make things difficult for Brooks.
“Even though he had 15 points, we did that from time to time. We had to fight in every position.”
The 11-1 run, the 14-5 run in the second quarter and the 9-0 run in the third quarter were crucial for the Wolves.
‘We weren’t ready, we didn’t compete,’ West Aurora coach said Michael Fowlesaid. “We have four games next week and no training time. We are drawn with three losses but it will be difficult.
“We have to be better, especially against a team like this.”
Especially against a budding Mason.
“He was the guy who pushed us every day in practice last year,” Velasquez said. “He never saw the floor last year. But he had a great summer. We told him we saw the growth and it continued this season.
“He’s going to play next year. He’s got some size and his best basketball is definitely ahead of him. I wish he could make plays like that every night.”