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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


DGS varsity boys basketball team’s last dance

Kate Dziewinski
DGS and Neuqua Valley players walking back to their benches as a timeout is called.

The DGS varsity boys basketball team’s season came to an end last Wednesday night.

The team fell 13 points short against Neuqua Valley at the IHSA Regional MatchUp game, ending their season, 37-50. DGS was down throughout the entire game except for their short-term lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Three-pointer shots were not in DGS’s favor last night. DGS senior guard Richard Gasmen was the only one to hit one. In the third quarter, Gasmen jumped back, pivoting to his right as he shot and landing on his feet as the ball swooped through the basket.

“All of our guys, it felt like there was a lid on the hoop. We were never really able to pop it off,” head varsity boys basketball coach Zack Miller said.

Neuqua Valley came out in a sprint, preventing DGS from scoring until 1:42 was left in the first quarter. Senior forward Justin Sveiteris completed the first DGS layup to erase the zero on the DGS scoreboard, 9-2.

Senior guards Jalen House and Will Potter fought back as they both collected their own two-pointer shots as an effort to break Neuqua’s high lead.

Neuqua did not stop their run through the second quarter, ending in a lead of 23-14. DGS attempted to bring it back but they ended up missing seven out of their 10 shots they took on basket.

“We didn’t capitalize, we didn’t score enough that we should have,” Miller said.

Junior guard Keon Maggitt scored the most points for DGS with seven. Two Neuqua Valley players, guard Luke Kinkade and forward Joe Balgro both made it double-digits. Kinkade scored a whopping 20 points while Balgro was not so far behind with 16.

“Kinkade was tough, made some tough shots to start the game and really got them going,” Potter said.

Unfinished in the beginning of the fourth, DGS created a one-point lead; Sveiteris rushed through Neuqua’s defense and pivoted to his right to underhandedly score a layup, 31-30.

It was not long until Neuqua came back. After the Neuqua rebound, Kinkade hit a three-pointer to end the short-term lead, 33-31.

The game got physical in the end after a long game of hearing “airball, airball, airball” from Neuqua’s student section every time Maggitt touched the ball. Maggitt leaped up the rim for a layup but was blocked by guard Colin Gerrity, landing chest-first on Gerrity’s knee. A violation foul was called from the incident, giving DGS the ball.

“I did not hear it, but I heard about it from a couple people. I don’t know what they said or what they did but I heard it was bad. But no, I don’t think it affected him enough that it took him out of his game,” Miller said.

DGS failed to bring the game back their way. This was the last mark in the 2023-2024 boys varsity basketball season for DGS.

“The season was a blast, winning the conference for the first time with Miller as head coach was special. It didn’t end how we wanted it to but I am still proud of what we accomplished and very excited to see what is to come with this DGS program,” Potter said.

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