H-F comeback falls short in regular season finale

Vikings, Bolingbrook share conference crown

Homewood-Flossmoor coach Jamere Dismukes draws up an out of bounds play in the Vikings 65-63 loss to Bolingbrook Tuesday.
(David P. Funk/H-F Chronicle)

It’s not the way Homewood-Flossmoor wanted to finish the regular season.

The Vikings had a storybook ending set up to springboard into what they hope will be a special postseason. Ranked No. 1 in Class 4A in the latest Associated Press poll, H-F was hosting No. 5 Bolingbrook Tuesday. A victory would have clinched the SouthWest Suburban Blue championship. 

H-F’s fourth-quarter comeback fell short, though, and the Raiders left Flossmoor with a 65-63 win. 


“At this point in the year, we can’t have that moving forward. One loss and 26-4, Chicago Heights Classic champs, Big Dipper champs, SWSC co-champs, all that means nothing,” coach Jamere Dismukes said. “We’re going to make sure we’re locked in and focused from here. We’re always going to get everybody’s best. Kudos to (Bolingbrook). They made shots.” 

H-F had a baseline out of bounds play down two with seven seconds left. It tried to get Carson Brownfield on a back cut in the lane, but the play didn’t work as drawn up. The Raiders tipped the in-bounds pass and then forced a held ball. 

The Raiders had the possession arrow. 

“They guarded it pretty well but it was still open,” Dismukes said. “I thought we should’ve probably hit him but we kind of panicked. That’s a tough situation for any kid, no timeouts left and down two, taking the ball out.” 

The teams will split the conference title after the Vikings (26-4, 6-2) won the previous meeting in Bolingbrook on Jan. 31.

The Raiders (23-4, 6-2) led for most of the game Tuesday, paced by post Josh Pettigrew’s game-high 22 points. The lead was as big as 13 late in the third quarter. 

“First quarter, we just couldn’t buy a bucket. Third quarter, we couldn’t buy a bucket. I thought in the second quarter, we made some shots but we had some selfish basketball going on,” Dismukes said. “Third quarter, the ball started to go in for us a little bit and in the fourth quarter not only did the ball go in for us but we actually were enthused about playing defense.”

Dismukes wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive effort early in the game. Pettigrew had 16 points in the first half. 

He took the blame for the problem, though. The Vikings were coming off a stretch of six away games over 11 days. Dismukes said he didn’t emphasize the team’s defensive concepts enough in the practices between.

“We told the kids ‘You’ve got to make sure you’re locked in from top to finish, just in case our shots aren’t going in,’” he said. “I think that was the worst we’ve been all year on the defensive end until the game was on the line. Once they realized they were about to lose, they stepped it up.” 

Dominic Pangallo started the comeback with a pair of 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter. Carson Brownfield and Jayden Tyler each hit triples, as well.

H-F got some stops and then Bryce Heard tied the game with a putback and-1 to make it 61-61 with just over a minute left. The Raiders scored on the next trip down and never lost the lead.

The Vikings celebrated senior night before the game. Eight 12th graders took pictures on the court with parents and family. Dismukes said that group has been the foundation of the program he’s building in his second season at H-F.

“Each one of those kids, one through eight, they fit the profile of a Viking and what we want to embody in our program, even the ones who didn’t play a minute,” he said. “These kids come to practice every single day and get yelled at, get beat up on, run, lift weights, go through the day of school and come to practice knowing they won’t even step on the floor. That takes mental toughness, being a good kid, being a good teammate.” 

Gianni Cobb led Homewood-Flossmoor with 17. Heard had 14 and Brownfield 12. 

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