2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/25/2013 10:38 PM

Rogers scores 29 to lead Crystal Lake South

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By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent

There were 7 losses by 5 points or less.

Senior Eric Schiller missed 3 games due to an ankle injury.

It has been a season of adversity and setbacks for the Crystal Lake South boys basketball team.

But the Gators have left the bad times in the past.

Led by a career high 29-point effort by junior forward Austin Rogers, the fifth-seeded Gators claimed their sixth consecutive win with a 58-47 victory over No. 4 seed Cary-Grove in first round action of the Class 4A Jacobs regional Monday night.

"The losses certainly built character," said Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage. "We are playing our best basketball of the season at the right time."

The Gators (14-14) tangle with top-seeded Crystal Lake Central in a semifinal game Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Rogers, who made 10-of-13 shots from the field and 9-of-10 from the floor, also grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.

"We did a great job of running our sets and the guys did a great job of getting me the ball in great position to score," said Rogers. "At halftime coach said we were settling for jump shots in the first half so we pounded the ball inside and got easy shots. "

Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schueltze was impressed with Rogers.

"He is an outstanding high school basketball player," said the Cary-Grove coach. "He is so strong, quick and a great athlete."

Outstanding team work was also on display for the Gators with 18 assists on 20 baskets made. Along with Rogers' 4 assists, Alex Bartusch, Nick Geske, Eric Schiller and Max Meitzler dealt out 3 apiece.

It was the Trojans who were the aggressors early. Making its first 4 shots from 3-point range, Cary-Grove led 13-4 with 1:34 left in the first quarter. With Jason Gregoire nailing a pair of 3-pointers and Dean Lee and Tyler Szydlo canning a 3 each the Trojans opened up a 9-point advantage.

The Gators whittled away at Cary-Grove's advantage and took the lead for good, 26-25, on a 10-footer in the lane by Schiller with 36 seconds left before intermission.

Rogers, who scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half, tallied the Gators' first 8 points of the second half as South led 39-33 after 3 quarters.

Crystal Lake South's biggest lead of the game was 12, 51-39, after a putback by Meitzler.

Gregoire led Cary-Grove with 16 points while Steve Plazak scored 11.

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