Heart is succeeding with a knee wrap, four fouls and knowing that your opponent is taller, more athletic and maybe faster than you.
Heart is 5-8 Shorewood senior guard Deion Jackson-Body and his Greyhound teammates, who rallied from an eight-point first half deficit to pull away from visiting Brown Deer for a surprising 73-65 Woodland Conference victory Tuesday night.
"This is a really nice accomplishment," said Jackson-Body, who scored 29 points to lead the Greyhounds. "We got a few more wins last year and now we're getting some good wins this year (over good teams) and that's what makes it even better."
It was a major accomplishment, according to coach Phil Jones, because the Greyhounds (4-6 in Woodland play and 7-6 overall) have had a series of close games recently that they just couldn't quite put away.
But that wasn't the case tonight, largely due to the heart of players like Jackson-Body, Bobby Kohl, Aaron Bailey and Donovan Freeman.
Jackson-Body didn't play in last Friday's loss to St. Thomas More because of a banged-up knee and was uncertain for today even as recently as yesterday's practice.
"He went light (in practice) and it went OK," said Jones, "but we still didn't know. It seemed OK tonight (chuckles)."
Yes it did.
Shorewood trailed the fast-paced Falcons (7-3, 10-4) 26-18 early in the second quarter but the Greyhounds, despite serious foul trouble to Freeman (three fouls), and Bailey and Jackson-Body himself (two each), managed to cut the deficit to 37-34 at the half.
A three by Jackson-Body even briefly tied the score.
Junior forward Trayvon Palmer had 16 points for the Falcons in the first half, but also ran into foul trouble himself, picking up his third not even a minute into the third quarter.
He did not come back in until the 2:45 mark of the third, but by that time, the Greyhounds had made their move.
Brown Deer had its last lead at 46-42 on a lay-up by junior forward D'Sean Groce at the 5:16 mark, but that would be the Falcons' last field goal until three seconds were left in the third.
In the interim, the Greyhounds went on a 10-0 run. A driving one-hander by Jackson-Body put Shorewood up for good at 48-46 with 3:35 left in the third. By the end of the third it 54-50 Shorewood.
And Jackson-Body put the hammer down personally at the start of the fourth quarter, racing out on a fastbreak lay-up after a missed three and then nailing one of his four three-pointers from the right wing after a Falcon turnover to make it 59-50 with 6:32 left.
The Greyhounds had gone to a zone to hide their foul trouble and to rest their legs and it seemed to frustrate the taller Brown Deer squad.
And every time the Falcons seemed to make a push, Shorewood had an answer. A lay-up by Jackson-Body made it 61-54 with 4:20 left and a three-point play by Freeman with 3:52 remaing made it 64-56.
Meanwhile, the Falcons missed lay-ups, dunks and most importantly free throws, knocking down just four of 14 charity tosses in the second half. A free throw by Brown Deer center Jamon Jackson-Wilson cut the margin to 64-59 with 3:10 left, but then a free throw by Bailey and a run-out lay-up by Jackson-Body, which showed that his knee was feeling fine, made it 67-59 with 2:07 to go.
The lead never dropped below six after that point.
Jackson-Body also contributed six assists, while Bailey, a 6-6 senior post had 15 points and 10 rebounds while Freeman tossed in 13 points. Kohl had just four points, but had a spectacular line with a game-high 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Palmer finished with 23 points for the Falcons before fouling out with 49 seconds to go, while Jackson-Wilson had 19.
"it's just good to get a win," said Jones. "We've had so many slip through our fingers. We just needed to get one like this."
"We were just trying to conserve our energy, keep them to one shot and not do so much chasing. And it worked."
For one major reason, according to Jackson-Body.
"Heart and defense," said Jackson-Body. "We know we're small (Bailey is the only player over 6-3 on the roster), but we have a lot of heart, and with that we can go a long ways."
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