The IHSA may just want to give Larkin guard Quentin Ruff the 3-point King of the Hill crown immediately, instead of waiting until March during the state series.
In fact, they should make room on the plaque for the entire Larkin squad after the Royals' 3-point barrage of sorts Friday night in Elgin.
Larkin, which never trailed, blew the roof off its gym draining 13 of 20 from downtown and Ruff was 6 of 8 from outside the arc in the Royals' 87-49 Upstate Eight River rout over Streamwood. The win avenged a 56-53 loss to the Sabres on November 27.
In Larkin's 11th-straight win, Ruff led all scorers with 20 points on 7 of 9 field goals, as he knocked down his first 4 from the perimeter. Quantice Hunter (12 points, 3 steals), Derrick Streety (11 points, 2 steals) and Hannibal Marshall (10 points) all at least had one 3-pointer each while Taylor Boley chipped in 9 points on 3 treys. Larkin outscored Streamwood 63-34 after the Sabres (6-12, 1-6) cut to lead to 9 with 5:10 left in the second quarter and nailed 5 of 7 from deep in a 29-point third quarter alone.
"I'll tell you what, we've been watching it in practice," said Royals coach Deryn Carter. "Our guys really shot well in practice and you don't like to talk about how you're shooting good or bad because you don't want to jinx it. They came out and took good shots and shots in rhythm and knocked them down."
Carter also told his team it wasn't about revenge, but it sure looked like it. Ruff was in rhythm from the get-go and made it 13-7 Larkin (16-2, 6-1) on his third 3 of the first quarter with 2:08 left. Streety nailed a runner and Ruff followed with another trey to make 18-7, prompting Sabres coach Tim Jones to talk it over with 1:15 left. Ruff's fourth trey made it a 10-point lead early in the second and his last 3s helped blow it wide open, pushing the lead to 24 with 5:25 left in the quarter.
"I may talk to (Ruff) about spending the night in the gym because he's going to need to do it again (tonight) for us to have some success," Carter said jokingly, as the Royals have a quick turnaround tonight when Geneva comes to town. "He shot it well, he shot it really well."
Said Ruff: "It all started in practice and how hard we've been competing and that really carried over. After my first shot, everything felt good." He also mentioned those shooting drills Carter alluded to. "It was like a contagion, it just carried over to the rest of the team," Ruff said.
Larkin ripped off 67 shot attempts, shooting a 47.7 percent clip. The lead expanded to as much as 38 in the fourth as Streamwood had a tough time rebounding. The Sabres lost the battle 33-24 while giving up 12 offensive rebounds and 21 turnovers. Streamwood shot at 36.8 percent clip on 21 of 57.
"I told the guys in order for us to stay close, we have to rebound the ball," said Sabres coach Tim Jones. "And number one you have to rebound the ball on the first shot. We didn't do that. The second thing is we needed to take care of the basketball and we didn't do that either. You're asking for trouble if you can't do both of those things against them. And that's basically what it is."
Joel Lightbourne led the Sabres with 14 points and 4 rebounds. Cole Seger chipped in 8 points and 5 rebounds.