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Article updated: 1/24/2011 11:22 PM
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Maine South a tough matchup for Elk Grove
 

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Maine South a tough matchup for Elk Grove
  • Maine South's Matt Palucki puts up a shot against Elk Grove's Devin Neill Monday night at Elk Grove.

    Purchase Photo | Maine South's Matt Palucki puts up a shot against Elk Grove's Devin Neill Monday night at Elk Grove. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Bill Zars/bzars@dailyherald.com Elk Grove's Kevin Morelos puts up a shot with tough defense from Maine South's Nick Calabrese and Matt Palucki Monday night at Elk Grove.

    Bill Zars/bzars@dailyherald.com Elk Grove's Kevin Morelos puts up a shot with tough defense from Maine South's Nick Calabrese and Matt Palucki Monday night at Elk Grove.

  •  Elk Grove's John Lorenz puts up a shot against Maine South's John Solari Monday night at Elk Grove.

    Purchase Photo | Elk Grove's John Lorenz puts up a shot against Maine South's John Solari Monday night at Elk Grove. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Elk Grove was forced to play a mismatch game with visiting Maine South on Monday night.

The Hawks had the duo of 6-foot-7 Matt Palucki and 6-5 Casey Bruce. The Grenadiers' tallest regular is 6-3 Kevin Morelos.

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Maine South (16-6) took full advantage as Palucki and Bruce combined for 47 points and 17 rebounds in a 56-38 nonconference victory at Aldrich Gymnasium.

"Sometimes we were able to defend them a little bit, like the first three minutes of the game," said Elk Grove coach Anthony Furman. "After that, I don't think we did a very good job of being ready with our next group coming in and it fell apart."

Palucki had 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and 10 rebounds and Bruce had 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting and 7 rebounds.

They combined for the Hawks' first 21 points and all of their scoring in a 14-2 tear came from close range to give them a 19-8 lead.

"One of our points of emphasis was to get 40 points in the lane and we were pretty close," said Maine South coach Tony Lavorato Jr. "What that does is break down a defense. Getting Casey inside touches and looks makes everything easier."

Palucki averages close to 22 points a game but Lavorato said Bruce has been averaging about 16 points a game since Christmas.

"Casey and I are building a good relationship with our two-man game," Palucki said. "I can throw it up to him and with his jumping ability he can catch anything.

"When he's at the '5' it allows me to run around and have some fun on the perimeter."

Tony Albano also had 7 assists as Maine South built a 52-26 lead with 5:38 left. Elk Grove (4-15) allowed only 6 points in the first 5:57 of the second half but couldn't make up any ground as it missed its first 7 shots in its eighth straight loss.

Justin Flores came off the bench to score 13 points and John Lorenz added 9 points. The Grens hit 9 of their last 20 shots to finish at 34 percent (16-for-47).

"If things don't go our way offensively we can't get discouraged," Furman said. "We have to fight through that."

St. Viator 65, Joliet Catholic 63 (ot): St. Viator (12-6, 4-3) has needed to work extra hard to get its East Suburban Catholic Conference victories.

The Lions improved to 4-0 in ESCC overtime games as D.J. Morris (22 points) hit the game-winning free throws with seven seconds left in Joliet. Morris made 8 of 11 free throws and Kevin Walsh was 9-for-9 en route to a career-high 26 points.

Viator led 23-14 in the second quarter. Joliet Catholic (7-10, 1-6) took a 29-27 halftime lead but missed a shots to win at the end of regulation and overtime.

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