DeKALB -- Last Friday in Crystal Lake Central's Class 4A regional championship win over Jacobs, Golden Eagles boys basketball coach Jim Hinkle simply did not have a game plan for Central's Jake VanScoyoc, who just kind of slipped through the cracks as he scored all of his 13 points in the first half during the win.
"Who the heck is this Vasquez guy?" Hinkle exclaimed. "We didn't even talk about him in practice."
During Thursday night's Class 4A sectional semifinal against Rockford Boylan, VanScoyoc was back at it again as the guard hit his first 5 shots and went for 11 points in the first quarter, providing Central quite a spark as the Tigers broke out to a 15-point lead on the Titans in the game's first 8 minutes.
VanScoyoc finished with a team-high 18 points for CL Central, but that 15-point lead didn't last very long as the Tigers couldn't finish like they started.
Central managed 15 points between the first and fourth quarters thanks to Boylan's defense, which stepped up immensely after Central shot 8 of 14 from the field in the first quarter and CLC had no answer for guard Demarcus Vines, who sliced his way through the lane over and over again for 15 points in a 60-49 win over the Tigers, to conclude Central's season at 27-4.
The Tigers, a normally good shooting squad, shot 13 of 40 the rest of the way and went downhill in the final 24 minutes while Boylan (21-8) moved on to tonight's Class 4A DeKalb sectional final against NIC-10 rival Rockford Jefferson, which edged Larkin 71-63 Wednesday night.
Although the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division co-champs stayed in it during the second half, CLC just couldn't maintain the lead. The Tigers gave up the lead in the third quarter and just couldn't stop Vines and junior Brock Stull, who had a game-high 19 points with 10 coming in the second half.
"Our guys came, and they were ready, there was no question about it," Central coach Rich Czeslawski said. "They knocked us back on our heels a little bit and we had trouble recovering. The rim got a little tighter and I thought we did a real good job defensively against them but we just couldn't seem to get the ball in the basket when we needed to."
Kyle Fleck managed 7 points and 17 rebounds and Corban Murphy finished with 14 points, but Brad Knoeppel was held to just 2 points and Central managed just 8 points in the second quarter and 7 in the third. Boylan took its second lead of the night on a Stull 3-pointer with 4:20 left in the third during a 9-3 run and pretty much never looked back.
"We just had too big of a dip, we didn't make things tough on them," said Czeslawski. "We just couldn't get clicking. I credit Boylan, they did a great job against us. They made it really tough for us to do what we wanted to do."
Vines repeatedly slashed his way through the lane scoring 11 points in the second half and while it was a 1-point game in the fourth quarter as Murphy and VanScoyoc hit 3s to keep Central in it, Vines found his way back to the hoop and Central called for time with 5:25 left down 47-42.
"The guy was sagging off in the lane and I take two dribbles and I'm in the lane," said Vines, whose team collected 10 steals. "We shook off the nerves. We came out a little sluggish. We underestimated them a little bit. After halftime we got our game plan back together and got the win tonight."
Central managed to get back within 3 with 5:10 to go on a Fleck layup but the Tigers wouldn't get any closer.
"They were a good defensive team, they pressured the ball real well," Murphy said. "We can't have two bad quarters in the middle of the game, that will hurt you."
Turnovers did come to be a pain for Central, as it turned the ball over 14 times, 12 after the first quarter. Boylan's point output continued to rise as the game went on, from 9 in the first, to 12 in the second, 18 in the third and 21 in the fourth.
"They made a concerted effort to get in there and I think fatigue set in there a little bit," Czeslawski said. They're a little bit deeper than us. I think fatigue was a factor unfortunately and at this level you have to play great and you have to sustain it."