The Dundee-Crown boys basketball team may have mistaken Gator Alley for a paint store.
Crystal Lake South picked the wrong night to be out of primer.
The Gators had no interior solution for D-C around the basket. Even without a legitimate big man down low taller than 6-foot-3, the Chargers' 30 points inside accounted for nearly half of their total in a 62-42 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win over the Gators in Crystal Lake Tuesday night.
Dundee-Crown snapped a 2-game slide by also winning the rebound edge 31-23 as Trent Muscat led the Chargers with 15 points and 3 rebounds while Dylan Kissack scored 14 points and led the team in rebounds with 9. Brandon Rodriguez scored 6 of his 9 points in the paint in the first quarter, as the three dictated things in the paint throughout.
"I thought we did a great job getting the ball inside in the first half," said Chargers coach Lance Huber, whose team was 11 for 16 at the free throw line and scored 21 points outside of the paint. "We executed pretty well."
That execution led to Dundee-Crown (12-5, 3-2) scoring 20 points inside in the first half alone, a prime reason why the Chargers went in with 19-point halftime lead.
"For a team that doesn't have anybody over 6-3, they absolutely pounded us," Gators coach Matt LePage said. "It was disappointing. Our defensive effort was disappointing but when you're at home, 16 for 46 (shooting) in your own gym, your defensive effort is going to lack energy and that's what happened. I thought we lacked energy on the defensive end."
South (6-11, 1-4) shot a 34 percent clip and 19 percent on 4 of 21 3-point shooting while D-C shot 24 of 48 from the field while scoring 8 of its first 10 points near the basket off turnovers, good pressure and naturally looking for the man inside.
"It's something our coach has been stressing," Muscat said. "Just get the ball in the paint as much as we can and it's something we've been doing over the past few games and we haven't continued it over the course of the game so tonight we did that. We kept getting the ball in the paint and that helped us."
Dundee-Crown's 19-point lead at the half became 21 in the third but it trickled to 9 during a 12-2 South run in which the Gators forced a faster tempo, which featured baskets by Nick Geske (8 points), Eric Schiller (7 points) and 3s from Max Meitzler and Alex Bartusch deep from each corner.
But D-C opened the fourth with 4-straight baskets during a 9-0 run, 3 of which came on layups and the last on Kissack's 3-pointer that made it 49-31 with 6:01 remaining.
"We just looked a little lethargic in my opinion," Huber said. "They miss some shots, we got a couple easy baskets, got a little confidence back and some momentum and they missed a couple more, and it looked like we just kind of took it home from there."
Austin Rodgers led the Gators with 10 points and while Meitzler (7 points) hauled in 4 rebounds. South also turned the ball over 14 times.