The Class 3A boys 3-point competition doesn't begin until next week, but Elmwood Park senior guard Anthony Santiago decided to get an early start Friday.
The Tigers' senior guard knocked down seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 27 points in leading Elmwood Park to a 62-52 over Fenton in Metro Suburban Conference action in Bensenville.
Santiago, the program's record-holder for 3s in a season, made four of them from near the end of the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter as the Tigers (13-12, 4-8) pulled away.
"We needed points, so I just started shooting," said Santiago, who hit eight 3-pointers in a game last season. "That's what I'm here to do. I'm a streaky shooter, so if I see it go in once I like to keep on shooting. I want to see how many times it can go in."
After Fenton (2-24, 1-11) scored the first 7 points of the third quarter on a Herman DeGuia 3-pointer, a Colin Wallace basket and DeGuia's steal and bucket, the margin quickly narrowed to 36-34. Despite several chances to tie or take the lead, though, the Bison couldn't convert.
Santiago and Julian Molina, who scored 16 points for Elmwood Park, closed the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to boost the Tigers' lead back to 44-35. Consecutive 3s by Santiago midway through the fourth quarter pushed the advantage to 55-42.
Despite a 3-pointer and three-point play by Wallace that pulled Fenton within 55-47, the Bison couldn't muster enough offense for another run.
"We have competed pretty well in the second half of the season," said Fenton coach Dennis Cromer. "Seven out of the last nine games, I believe, we've been tied in the fourth quarter at one point or another. We got close and couldn't get over the hump."
Fenton scored the game's first points before Elmwood Park took off on a 10-0 run. Aside from a dismal shooting performance in the third quarter, the Tigers made 54 percent of their shots from the field.
Wallace led Fenton with 15 points, while Jeremy Shimanek added 13 points. Santiago made two more 3-pointers than the Bison did as a team.
"That's how he can shoot it, he shoots it like that in practice," said Elmwood Park coach Mike Wasielewski. "He's one of the best shooters I've ever coached."