A lot of teams would be thrilled to come out with a split against perennial boys basketball powers St. Joseph and Proviso East.
Not after the Saxons had a 9-point halftime lead on Proviso East in the 52nd annual Ron Johnson/St. Charles East Thanksgiving Tournament on Wednesday evening.
Proviso East (2-0) turned up the defensive heat midway through the third quarter and pulled away to a 61-52 win to spoil the hopes for a statement start to the season for Schaumburg (1-1).
"It's tough because we didn't get to a lot of loose balls and missed a lot of little plays," said Schaumburg senior guard Javon McDonald after his second straight 22-point night.
"They were able to get some momentum and we certainly weren't able to handle or respond to their pressure," said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh. "They're obviously a very athletic team and we know playing a team of this caliber will do nothing but make us better. But we're certainly not satisfied with a loss."
Especially after the Saxons rallied to beat St. Joseph in overtime on Tuesday. Walsh got after them about some missed hustle plays in the first quarter and they took it to heart and led 33-23 after a 13-point run.
McDonald scored 9 points and hit one of his four 3-pointers. Sophomore Jimmy Lundquist had layups on 1 of 6 assists from Mark Bielanski and a Roger Lane assist en route to a 35-26 halftime lead.
But in the third quarter the Saxons missed their first 9 shots and committed 5 turnovers against the Pirates' pressure. McDonald's runner in the lane with five seconds left kept them from being shut out and put them ahead 37-35.
"We know we have to be full-force at every moment," McDonald said after the Saxons had only 4 first-half turnovers. "We knew especially since we were up at half they would come out with traps and we kind of choked."
A drive by Kyle Bolger (16 points) gave Schaumburg its last lead at 39-37 and McDonald's 25-footer with 5:41 left tied it at 42-42.
But guard Keith Carter (13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) hit 4 free throws and found 6-foot-6 Trashaun Carroll (19 points) for a layup to put the Pirates up 48-42. The Saxons got no closer than 4 points the rest of the way.
"Their defensive pressure really changed the flow of the game," Walsh said.