Twice the Elgin boys basketball team built double-digit, first-half leads against Streamwood only to be reeled back within 4 or 5 points, but there was no catching the Maroons in the third quarter of Tuesday's Class 4A South Elgin regional play-in game.
Elgin opened the third quarter on a 19-1 run to turn a 10-point halftime lead into an easy 73-52 victory, thereby ending the coaching career of retiring Streamwood coach Tim Jones, a former star player for Elgin High.
It was the third victory for Elgin (14-13) against Streamwood (11-19) this season.
Senior Eric Sedlack keyed the third-quarter push by scoring 9 of his 12 points during the decisive run, including a 3-pointer.
"The last time we played them we were up big, but we came out flat in the second half," Sedlack said. "So at halftime we talked about the first four minutes of the second half setting the tempo for the rest of the game. We just wanted to blow the game out there and relax."
No. 4 Elgin enjoyed balanced scoring contributions from Sedlack, senior guard Arie Williams (13 points) and junior reserve Isaiah Butler (11 points).
No. 5 Streamwood was within 5 points of the lead late in the second quarter, but Elgin scored 5 straight points on a basket by Tanner Bednar (6 points, 5 rebounds) and 3 free throws from Butler.
However, Elgin dominated the third quarter in every phase. The Maroons outrebounded the Sabres 9-1 and committed 7 turnovers compared to a lone miscue by Elgin.
"What was disappointing was the unforced turnovers we had," said Jones, whose team finished with 22 turnovers. "We haven't been doing that for awhile. We've been playing halfway decent. Their pressure bothered us a little bit, but not being strong with the basketball really hurt us.
"We made two comebacks from double-digit deficits early in the first half and I thought we were going well. Then we made some not-so-great plays."
Trevious Norman and Joel Lightbourne each scored 7 points to lead Streamwood.
The victory advances Elgin to today's semifinal against rival Larkin at 6 p.m. It is the fourth meeting this season between Elgin and the Royals. Larkin won the three previous contests, including a double-overtime game in early December.
"This is what we wanted," Williams, the Upstate Eight River player of the year, said of getting another crack at the UEC River outright champs. "It's time to get it. It's been too long. They have everything to lose and we have everything to conquer. It's time to get this."
The Maroons don't get a day to prepare, but that matters little considering the familiarity between the rivals.
"We know everything Larkin does, and Larkin knows everything we do," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "We have to match Larkin's intensity. They play hard. It's like fresh meat and who let the dogs out. We need to play with that kind of intensity. If we do that, we can stay with them. If we don't come out with 15 guys ready to play, this game is going to be over early."