When St. Charles North arrived at Elgin for an Upstate Eight Conference River Division matchup, North Stars' boys basketball coach Tom Poulin wanted his team to do one thing: stop Maroons' senior Arie Williams.
Williams helped fuel a brief third quarter rally for Elgin, but St. Charles North kept him silent most of the night as a balanced North Stars offense, led by Quinten Payne's 14 points and 11 rebounds, helped earn a 64-53 win on Elgin's senior night Saturday.
"That's the most important thing when you get off the bus here, you have to know where (Williams) is," Poulin said. "He's one of the best players around here, and I think one of the best in the state."
Williams, who finished with 10 points, did not hit a field goal in the first half, and the North Stars (14-8, 7-4) led 32-19 at the break. A Payne dunk to open the third quarter gave his team its largest lead of the night, 34-19.
That's when Williams and Isaiah Butler stepped up for the Maroons (11-13, 2-9) during an 18-4 run to pull to 38-37 with 2:56 left in the third quarter. Williams tallied 5 of his 7 points of the period during the run, and Butler hit two of his four 3-pointers of the game during the stretch.
However, the North Stars ended the quarter on a 10-3 run, and Chris Preocanin and Payne opened the fourth with layups for a 52-40 lead. Elgin faced a double-digit deficit the rest of the game.
"We got up big, and they came back which is what good teams do," Payne said. "We did a good job not letting that affect us."
The North Stars started the game on fire from behind the arc with six of their eight 3-pointers coming in the first half, led by Alec Goetz's three. Goetz finished with 12 points, Kyle Swanson 10, Ryan Thomas 9 and Jake Ludwig 8.
Butler finished with a game-high 18 points for Elgin, and Malik Parham-Dunner added 8 points and Eric Sedlack a team-high 9 rebounds. Justin Stanko had 9 rebounds for St. Charles North.
"We're just looking for consistency starting in practice and continuing into our games," Maroons' coach Mike Sitter said. "We have a high energy level when things are going our way, and low energy when things go against us."
The North Stars are also looking for consistency. St. Charles North has now won three straight for the second time this year, but that's the longest winning streak for the team.
"Consistency's what coach Poulin always stresses," Goetz said. "Right now, I think we're coming together as a family, as a group."