Ironmen headed to championship after holding off late rally from Wheaton Warrenville; Lady Iron split two games, finish seventh

After a 10-0 run put the Ironmen up 39-25 midway through the fourth quarter, a trip to the State Farm Holiday Classic Large School Boys’ championship game seemed set in stone. 

The Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers gave one last surge in an attempt to remain undefeated, going on an 18-6 run and closing the gap to just two points. 

With 20 seconds left, the Tigers had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead but were unable to get a shot up after an errant pass out of bounds with five seconds remaining. 

Two Trey Redd free throws with one second left were the nail in the coffin of Wheaton Warrenville’s comeback hopes, as Community won 47-43.

The first three quarters of play were much more defensive in nature, as nearly half the points scored in the game came in the fourth quarter.

Like in the quarterfinal win against Chicago North Lawndale, the Ironmen got off to a slow offensive start, finding themselves down 12-6 after the first quarter.

Over the next two quarters of play, Community held the Tigers to just 11 points. By continually beating the press, the Ironmen forced Wheaton Warrenville to generate points out of their half court offense, which the Tigers struggled to do.

The Ironmen’s strong defense, which recorded 11 steals and 3 blocks on the day, led them to leads of  19-16 at halftime and 27-23 heading into the fourth quarter.

Community’s offensive explosion in the fourth quarter was thanks to a balanced scoring attack from the team’s leading scorers for the game.

Zach Cleveland (‘22) once again led the way with 13 points, Trey Redd (‘22) used a strong floater game to score 11, Famious French (‘22) dropped 9, and Braylon Roman (‘24) had 8 on 6 made free throws, including two clutch makes at the charity stripe with under two minutes to go. 

By fending off the Tigers’ late run, Community punched their ticket to the championship game where they will meet the three seed East St. Louis Flyers. 

The Flyers will be looking for revenge on Community after the Ironmen defeated them 50-37 earlier this season. 

East St. Louis is led by Mizzou commit Christian Jones (‘22) and Macaleab Rich (‘23,) who have combined for 38 points per game in tournament victories over U-High, Peoria High, and Metamora

The game is set to tip off at 8:45 tonight at the Shirk Center.

Lady Iron split two games, finish seventh

A second half comeback fell just short, as the Lady Iron lost 45-44 at the hands of three seed Mundelein Carmel in their first game of the day. 

Down 9 points at halftime, Community held the Mundelein Corsairs to just five points in the third quarter and scored 16 in the fourth quarter to bring the game within one possession. 

On the tail end of scoring 21 points off of free throws against Mother McCauley, Community took just four free throws against the Corsairs. Instead, the Lady Iron scored over half of their points off of three pointers, sinking eight. 

The halftime deficit proved too much, though, and after the loss to Mundelein, the Lady Iron played for seventh-place against Rock Island later in the day. 

 Community ended their two game skid, defeating Rock Island 55-42 to wrap up the tournament. 

The Lady Iron continued their hot shooting, making nine threes, including three from Karleigh Creasey (’22) and Sophia Feeney (’23,) who joined Olivia Corson (’24) and Ali Ince (’24) as the four Community players in double figures. 

Community, 12-3, gets a week off before jumping back into Big 12 play with a home game against Champaign Central on Jan. 6.