Rarely are games won in the first 5 minutes.
This one was.
Scoring the first 11 points of the game, Cary-Grove's fast start provided the spark in the Trojans' 53-32 win over Prairie Ridge in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in Cary Friday night.
"We came ready to play and we played with a lot of energy to start the game," said Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle. "We really defended well and really communicated well on the defense. We did a great job of attacking their press and got some easy shots. We had great balance and a lot of people contributed. It was a win we needed."
Connecting on 5 of its first 7 shots for 74 percent, which included 3-pointers from Dean Lee, Mike Krich and Andrew Splitt, the Trojans (10-11, 3-5) grabbed control of the game by starting on an 11-0 run.
Prairie Ridge (6-14, 3-5), which missed its first 9 shots, didn't score until 2:55 was remaining in the initial quarter on a 10-footer in the lane by reserve center Pat Herring to make the score 11-2. The Wolves didn't get any closer.
The Trojans' biggest lead of the first half was 20, 26-6, on a 15-footer by Splitt with 3:44 remaining before intermission.
Leading 30-14 at halftime, the Trojans held the Wolves to 6 baskets during the first 16 minutes of the game. PR (6-of-25), which made only 24 percent of its shots in the first half, committed 13 turnovers.
Cary-Grove's biggest lead of the game was 24, 50-26, after a 5-footer in the lane by Steve Plazak with 2:44 left in the contest.
Splitt, off the bench, and Gregoire paced the Trojans balanced attack with 10 points apiece.
"I want to come off the bench and just try to help the team," said Splitt. "My teammates did a great job of finding me. It was a great feeling to make some shots and help the team."
Schuetzle appreciated Splitt's effort.
"His game is shooting the ball," said Schuetzle. "He got open and hit some big shots. He gave us a big boost off the bench."
Szydlo added 8 points, Kritch 7 and Lee scored 6 for the winners.
Michael Bradshaw was the lone Wolves player in double digits with 10 points.