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John Konchar gets his, Kaneland gets victory

02/11/2014, 11:12pm CST
By Michael O’Brien | mobrien@suntimes.com | @michaelsobrien

West Chicago’s John Konchar filled up the stat sheet Tuesday with 25 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. But he couldn’t pull out the victory.

West Chicago star John Konchar is regularly posting 30- and 40-point games, forcing scouts and college coaches to re-evaluate whether or not he’s a Division I basketball player.

The 6-4 senior has a versatile game. He’s shooting over 70 percent from the field, and nearly 50 percent from three-point range. He can rebound and is extremely unselfish, regularly looking to pass instead of shoot.

His skills were on display Tuesday in West Chicago. Konchar did just about everything possible for the Wildcats, filling up the stat sheet with 25 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.

But he couldn’t pull out the victory, as senior John Pruett’s big fourth quarter led visiting Kaneland to a 71-65 win against North Chicago.

Pruett isn’t worrying about where he’ll be playing his college basketball. In fact, he kind of figures this could be the last two months of his career.

“I’m just coming out hard to end my senior year,” Pruett said. “This could be the last time I play basketball. It’s the last time in high school for sure. I just want to give it my strongest effort.”

Pruett was clutch at the free-throw line, shooting 7-for-7 over the final three minutes. He finished with a game-high 27 points and eight rebounds, shooting 6-for-11 from the field.

“I’ve been shooting really bad [from the free-throw line] this year, like 60 percent,” Pruett said. “I just tried to go up there with confidence.”

Senior Drew David, who has played more varsity games than anyone in Kaneland history, scored 14 points. His steal with 21 seconds to play was the pivotal moment of the game.

The Knights (12-7) were clinging to a 68-65 lead and the West Chicago crowd was seemingly visualizing Konchar draining a three-pointer to tie the game. That’s when David intercepted a pass and dribbled the length of the floor. He was fouled on a layup attempt and made both free throws, essentially sealing the win.

“That was just a huge, huge play,” Kaneland coach Brian Johnson said. “Drew is the kind of guy that just steps up in those situations. He’s the leader out there for sure.”

Tyler Carlson scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and sophomore Ryan David added six points and five rebounds for Kaneland.

Senior Mitchell Henke finished with 15 points for West Chicago (13-10), and senior Marco Lomibao added eight points off the bench.

“We knew [Konchar] was going to get his buckets,” Pruett said. “[Konchar] is a great player and we just had to do our best to limit him.”

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