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This is what bench depth looks like.
Plano led 9-0 after two minutes, forcing turnovers the first three times Lisle had the basketball. Lisle coach Mark LaScala called time, sat four starters and, for Plano, the rest was history.
The Lions closed the first quarter on a 17-2 run that extended to 26-2 four minutes before halftime and ended up winning an Interstate Eight Conference rout, 62-32 on Tuesday in Lisle.
Leaving only point guard Cody Monson on the floor after Lisle (3-3, 2-0) surrendered an open 3-pointer, a layup off a steal and a short jumper in the lane, LaScala inserted Nick Saul, Cliff Krause, Zach Trussell and Connor Bielat. They combined for 8 points in that first quarter — probably the 8 most important points in the game.
"I made four subs and I asked the guys, 'Are you ready, because the other guys weren't.' They looked at me and said, 'We're ready,'" LaScala said.
Saul, a 6-foot-5 senior, started turning the tide with a high-arching shot that put Lisle on the board at 5:39 of the first quarter. Saul's steal led to a three-point play by Trussell, and a Krause steal earned Monson another three-point play.
Saul then scored a putback for a 10-9 Lisle lead less than two minutes after LaScala's timeout. The Lions never trailed again.
"That changed the complexion of the game," LaScala said. "If those guys off the bench go in and lay an egg I think the whole outlook of the game is different. That Plano team is much better than the score indicates."
Lisle starters Lamont Ross, Jeremy Glavanovits, Dawon Burrell and Jonny Parrillo began trickling back onto the floor, having heard the message.
"It's very motivating," the 6-2 Ross said, "because it shows that if the second team comes in and brings us back then we can come in and do the same thing."
Lisle led 17-11 after one quarter and 29-16 at halftime. Lisle outrebounded Plano 12-5 in the second quarter and 37 to 24 for the game. Netting 3 steals apiece by Ross, Monson and Burrell and 2 more by Saul and Krause, Lisle forced Plano into 26 turnovers.
LaScala said typically Plano (2-2, 1-1) gets 21 points from guard Elijah Wallace, but he was held to a team-high 8. Lisle, which led 43-24 after three quarters, got 12 apiece from Monson and Burrell and 10 from Ross. Saul scored 9 points.