A proactive approach helped Elgin's boys basketball team offset its size disadvantage and pound visiting DeKalb 78-40 Tuesday in nonconference action at Chesbrough Field House.
The Maroons countered DeKalb's 6-foot-7 Andre Harris, 6-6 Jake Smith and 6-5 Justin Love by implementing full-court pressure for the first time this season, resulting in 26 turnovers by the Barbs, 10 in the second quarter alone.
"They're big with three good posts players. If we let them set up and pound it, they'd dump it in there all night," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "I thought we got better as the game went on, our IQ with (the press) went up and we adjusted."
Elgin (11-11) had dropped 5 of its last 6 games entering the nonconference affair but turned a 36-26 halftime lead into a blowout by holding DeKalb (4-20) to 6 points in the third quarter, 8 in the fourth. Elgin committed 12 turnovers in the first half but limited that number to 3 after halftime while outscoring DeKalb 42-14.
"I felt like we executed the game plan as a team offensively and defensively," said Elgin guard Arie Williams, who led all scorers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, and made 4 steals. "The first half was a little bit sloppy. We were throwing the ball away. In the second half we took care of the ball more and had good ball movement."
Elgin dominated all phases, including rebounding (34-21). Of the Maroons' 19 first-quarter points, 8 resulted directly from offensive rebounds. Williams paced the Maroons with 7 boards, while Ryan Sitter contributed 7 points and 5 rebounds, Tanner Bednar had 7 points and 4 rebounds and Eric Sedlack added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Sixth man Isaiah Butler scored 13 points.
"They have some good-sized guys, so we had to make sure we were doing our job, fighting for position." Sedlack said.
"Against a team like this you have to come in here and scrap it out with them, get after loose balls," Bednar said.
Elgin shot 29 of 53 from the field (54.7 percent) while DeKalb made 17 of 46 attempts (37 percent).
Smith finished with 10 points and 3 rebounds while sophomore guard Rudy Lopez had 10 points and 4 rebounds for DeKalb.