Through eight games Lyons Township's boys basketball team struggled mightily with its shooting.
The Lions heated up just in time for Waubonsie Valley on Tuesday.
Lyons Twp. advanced to the quarterfinals of the 38th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York with an 81-69 win over the Warriors in Elmhurst. The Lions will play Naperville North at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday for a berth in the semifinals.
The Lions put the game to rest with a 14-1 run to close the third quarter. They made 10 of 16 shots that period and hit 52 percent of their shots for the game in a blistering performance.
"We've lost three in a row and we're in a funk," said Warriors coach Steve Weemer. "We're scoring enough points. Scoring 69 points is enough to win a basketball game in high school. We're just not defending with any sense of urgency right now."
The Lions (2-7) were on fire in the first quarter while knocking down 9 of 15 shots, including five 3-pointers. Matt Robare's buzzer-beater from well beyond midcourt gave them a 28-20 lead.
Waubonsie Valley (6-4) rallied to tie it at 41-41 on a Bryan Jefferson free throw with 1:10 left in the third quarter and opened a 48-45 lead with a 7-0 start to the fourth quarter. Jared Brownridge, who scored a game-high 27 points, tallied 10 points in the first 3:06 of the fourth quarter as Waubonsie Valley led 53-51 with 4:54 left.
The Lions' 14-1 run, however, negated all that work by the Warriors. Kenneth Smith, who led them with 26 points, hit a pair of free throws at the start of the fourth quarter to extend the advantage to 67-54.
Twice Waubonsie Valley narrowed the gap to 4 points, but the Warriors couldn't get a stop when they needed it.
"We've been in a slump so it's real good to win," Smith said. "We've been practicing for eight days shooting. We've been shooting all week and it paid off a lot."
Robare hit three of the Lions' eight 3-pointers while scoring 14 points. Chris O'Reilly had 18 points and Chris Antalek scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Jefferson scored 13 points off the bench for the Warriors and Dylan Warden added 10 points.
"Probably our biggest weakness so far this year has been our shooting percentage, and we shot the ball pretty well today," said Lions coach Tom Sloan.