Joe Piko and Hoffman Estates played near-perfect basketball for the final 5:50 of the third quarter allowing the Hawks to cruise past Maine East 58-43 in a nonconference boys basketball game Saturday in Hoffman Estates.
The Hawks led 19-18 at the half.
Maine East opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run to lead 25-21.
That's when the Hawks put the clamps on the Demons, forcing 9 turnovers while running off 20 unanswered points.
"We needed that," said Piko, who scored 7 of his season-high 22 points during that stretch to go with his 12 rebounds. "We came out with some energy. The team just fed me the ball inside.
This is a great win for us. Hopefully we can build off of it"
The victory helped Hoffman Estates (4-16) break a five-game losing streak and get back on track after a tough loss Friday to Schaumburg.
"Our kids were disappointed after the Schaumburg game, they were mad," Hoffman Estates coach Luke Yanule said. "And I thought that they showed that in the third quarter."
The Hawks used their pressure defense to force 29 turnovers from Maine East (5-15) and limit the Blue Demons to 43 percent from the floor (17-of-40), including a 1-10 in the first quarter.
"We really picked it up in the second half," said Iziah Robinson, who had 9 points and 4 steals. "We were kind of lazy in the first half. But our second half play is what we need every time."
Yanule says that this effort is the kind the Hawks can build on heading into the end of the regular season.
"I thought it was our best offensive game of the year," Yanule said. "We have four games left before the playoffs. This is a character team and now it is time to start putting things together"
Jordan Robinson came off the bench to score 9 points for the Hawks while Justin Brooks led Maine East with 12 points.