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Article updated: 12/26/2012 7:45 PM
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Larkin soars to win in Elgin opener
 

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Larkin soars to win in Elgin opener
  • Larkin's JD Darke (11) goes to the hoop past Islamic Foundation's Aakif Khan Wednesday at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament.

    Purchase Photo | Larkin's JD Darke (11) goes to the hoop past Islamic Foundation's Aakif Khan Wednesday at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  •  Islamic Foundation's Mehdi Hedroug (1) looks for room to maneuver around Larkin's Kendale McCullum Wednesday at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament.

    Purchase Photo | Islamic Foundation's Mehdi Hedroug (1) looks for room to maneuver around Larkin's Kendale McCullum Wednesday at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  •  Larkin's Andrew Jones elevates to the hoop Wednesday against Islamic Foundation at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament.

    Purchase Photo | Larkin's Andrew Jones elevates to the hoop Wednesday against Islamic Foundation at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Steve Nichols

It was bad enough top-seeded Larkin had to open up the 38th annual Elgin Holiday Tournament in the 9 a.m. slot the day after Christmas at Chesbrough Field House Wednesday morning.

What was even worse was that Royals' guard Quentin Ruff didn't even hear his alarm, mainly because "it wasn't even on," Ruff said after the Royals' 84-38 win over Islamic Foundation.

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"Since I'm the driver it caused three others to be late."

That violated team rules, which prompted coach Deryn Carter to bench those starters until the second quarter. But Larkin's second unit raced out to a 12-0 lead after it nailed 5 of its first 6 shots and the Royals (11-2) had no problem hitting shots with the unorthodox start time.

"It's the first game of the Christmas tournament, we had three or four days off, that's a long break, but the guys came out and did what they needed to do," Carter said. "They were a little late today, so they violated a couple of team rules but it worked out. Our guys stepped up but you don't want those distractions."

Larkin shot a sizzling 52 percent having not played since the weekend, and when Ruff entered the game in the second quarter, he'd make up for lost time. He made all 4 of his 3-point attempt from exactly the same spot on the right wing, missing just a layup and scoring all of his game-high 14 points in a rout that wasn't even close. So much for that alarm clock as the Royals will play at 3:30 p.m. today against Glenbard North.

"I was supposed to wake up at six," Ruff said, after Carter asked his squad to be at Larkin High School at 7 a.m. "I don't know how to explain it, it was just us waking up late."

Everyone who was in action for Larkin scored as the Royals had four players in double figures, including J.D. Darke with 11, while Jason Barnhart and Taylor Boley added 10 each. By halftime the lead was 26, getting as high as 49 late in the fourth quarter. Larkin drained 8 of its 12 3-pointers and won the rebounding edge 37-12, which included 16 offensive rebounds. Larkin also had 15 steals.

"I don't think we missed a beat," Carter said. "It doesn't matter what time you play, you've got to show up and execute and our guys did that."

"We just want to leave with a bang, win this one -- we don't want to leave it out and have us thinking we could have done this, could have done that," said Barnhart, who added 3 rebounds.

For Islamic Foundation (3-3), which shot 16 of 42 and turned it over 26 times, Mehdi Hedroug scored a team-high 12 points while Aakif Khan added 9.

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