DEERFIELD — It's no secret that the McHenry boys basketball team relies on the 3-point shot to be successful.
Deerfield was able to exploit the Warriors' weaknesses underneath the basket and McHenry tried to fight back its trusty shot that just wasn't going in. The Warriors shot one of 20 from behind the arc and the end result was a 61-29 loss to Deerfield in the Class 4A Deerfield regional.
"We have to shoot the ball well and we just didn't do that," McHenry head coach Tim Paddock said. "We average close to nine [3-pointers] a game and we made one tonight. We don't have a true back-to-the-basket guy and we try to go inside but it's difficult when the shots aren't falling. We're a different team."
McHenry (11-16) scored the first points of the game when Korey Partenheimer got to the line and made both shots with 5:39 remaining in the first. But after trading baskets, Deerfield went on a momentum shifting 7-0 run which was fueled by four consecutive McHenry turnovers.
Cody Freund came off the bench for Paddock's squad and hit the Warriors' only 3-pointer of to stop the run. They then got a block on the defensive end and Freund drove to the basket, scored on a layup and was fouled. He later completed the 3-point play. He scored all six of his points in that 28-second stretch.
But when the second quarter began the shots stopped falling for McHenry as it shot two of 12 in the quarter while Deerfield opened up a big lead that was buoyed by a 12-2 run.
"We knew they had some talent and would want to come at us after that back-and-forth first," Deerfield coach Dan McKendrick said. "We knew they liked the long-ball and we tried to take that away and make sure to stay in our defensive set."
The Warriors played tough as Damian Zalewski created plays. He hit a 12-foot jumper from the baseline before driving the basket the next three possessions. He finished with six of his team-high eight points in the final quarter.
"It's my last game and I just wanted to finish it strong," Zalewski said. "We tried to make some shots but that didn't really work. I tried to dish the ball out because they were clogging the middle but at the end I just tried to get to the free-throw line. I used some shot fakes and tried to take it into them.
"It's tough [to lose] but I'm going to remember some good times I've had with this team."