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Rafferty, Hinsdale Central beat Metea Valley in OT
By Mike Krizman | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/1/2013 11:24 PM

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Metea Valley didn’t have an answer for Hinsdale Central sophomore Matt Rafferty.

The 6-foot-7 center led his team with a game-high 24 points, combining for 10 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The end result was a 50-46 overtime loss for the Mustangs in nonconference action, ending a two-game winning streak.

“Rafferty had a great game,” Metea Valley coach Bob Vozza said. “Every time we’d get the lead or a little bit of control, he would go right at us and get himself to the line or hit a big shot. You have to credit Hinsdale Central. They executed one more time than we did tonight.”

After a 3-point buzzer-beater by the Mustangs’ Connor Archey cut the Red Devils’ lead to 21-18 at halftime, Metea Valley (15-8) scored the first nine points of the third quarter, seven of them coming from Trayvond Taylor.

The Mustangs held a 27-21 lead, but Hinsdale Central (14-5) began to work the ball inside to Rafferty and Ian Bunting, who combined to score the next five points and cut the deficit to 27-26.

“There was a lot of intensity on the floor tonight,” Raferty said. “We’re coached to never step back and if we get down, bounce right back and go at them, get the ball inside and finish.”

Rafferty gave his team the lead heading into the fourth quarter on a rebound basket underneath with three seconds left.

He again came through in the fourth quarter, scoring four straight points off a tip-in and a pair of free throws to give his team a 44-41 lead with just more than two minutes left.

Bryson Oliver’s crossover move through the lane resulted in a Mustangs layup with 1:35 left that cut the Red Devils’ lead to 44-43. Sean Davis sent the game into overtime by splitting a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Metea Valley took its last lead of the game at 46-44 when Davis knocked down both free throws with 2:53 left in overtime. It was the only points the Mustangs scored in the extra period.

Rafferty followed with another big basket, going to his right and sending up a floater that rimmed in while also drawing a foul. His subsequent free throw gave Hinsdale Central the lead for good at 47-46.

Down 48-46, the Mustangs final chance of the night ended when Archey was called for traveling.

The Red Devils then managed to break Metea Valley’s press without the Mustangs’ drawing a foul, which resulted in a Rigas Pappas basket underneath that went uncontested.

“There were a couple sets at the end where we were looking for our shooter, but we didn’t execute,” Vozza said. “We’ll continue to work at that. At this time of year, it’s all about executing.”