South Elgin boys basketball coach Chaz Taft just needed to look at the turnover statistic to find out why his team lost.
Pressured by Crystal Lake Central's defense, South Elgin committed 19 turnovers in dropping a 74-55 decision to the Tigers in an opening round game of the 2012 Jacobs Boys Holiday Basketball Classic Saturday morning.
"It's all about our guards and our team not being able to handle their pressure," said Taft. "It comes down to playing a 9 a.m. game and coming ready to compete and playing with energy and enthusiasm. They certainly did that more than we did."
The Storm (2-11) received solid individual efforts from guard Matt McClure, who scored 31 points that included 7-of-8 from 3-point range and Robert Grant, who tallied 16 points with 10 rebounds.
"It's a five-man game not a two-man game," said Taft. "Basketball is a team game. We didn't play as a team."
The Storm competed early with the talented Tigers. After a layup from Brian Winsel, the game was tied at 14-14 with 2:33 left in the first quarter. Central seized control of the game by scoring the final 10 points of the quarter. Kyle Fleck, DJ Thomas and Jake Van Skyoc all canned 3-pointers as the Tigers led 24-14 after 8 minutes.
Leading 37-25 at halftime, Crystal Lake Central squashed any hopes of a Storm comeback by scoring the first 8 points of the second half.
Thomas nailed a 3-pointer and Fleck and Corban Murphy scored baskets as the Tigers extended a 12-point halftime lead to 45-25 with 5:11 left in the third quarter. South Elgin didn't score in the second half until a putback by Grant with 4:11 left in the quarter to make the score 45-27.
Central (8-1), which had 18 assists on 31 baskets and made 9-of-15 from 3-point range, was led by Fleck with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots.
"Kyle isn't even 100 percent yet, but he is getting there," said Central coach Rich Czeslawski. "He can really extend a defense by hitting the 3."
Fleck was backed by David Panicko with 16 points, Thomas scored 15 on 5-of-5 from 3-point range and Murphy scored 11.
"We have a lot of kids who can score," said Czeslawski. "I really like the way we are sharing the ball. "