2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/25/2013 11:41 PM

South Elgin scores 94 on Fenton in Petersen's debut

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By Bill Stone
Daily Herald Correspondent

Last season Matt McClure and the South Elgin boys basketball team posted their first of only five victories by edging Fenton 46-45.

When the teams met Monday in the season opener and first round of Fenton's 28th annual Chuck Mitchell Thanksgiving Tournament, the Storm had 55 points by halftime.

"It's a huge difference, just the offense that we're running, the tempo we're trying to play," McClure said. "It's fun playing (this way)."

South Elgin unveiled its high-energy offense under new coach Matt Petersen, and they achieved a single-game school record for points in a 94-43 victory.

McClure, a senior guard, equaled his personal high of 31 points with 20 points and 2 of his three 3-pointers in the first half. Senior Darius Wells and sophomore Matt Smith, the Storm's other two returning starters, also scored in double figures.

South Elgin led 80-43 before reserves played the entire fourth quarter.

"It's good for them. It's been a while since they've actually had a winning margin of that much, let alone scoring that many points in a game," Petersen said. "I was not expecting them to come out with that amount of energy just because it was our first game, and they came out running."

In the first half the Storm had 14 of its 20 steals, which led to easy layups or at least started several transitions. McClure had 7 of his 8 steals in the first half along with 3 assists.

"(McClure) brings such energy to the table," Petersen said. "He gets after it every second he's out there, and it really helps everybody else get more energy on defense. He even gets them to play a little bit harder because he's giving so much effort out there. You need those guys on your team."

The Storm finished the first half with a flourish, scoring on nine of its last 10 possessions with two 3-pointers for 19 points. After Fenton's Zach Jakalski scored with 4.5 seconds left, Smith leapt from midcourt and banked a shot at the buzzer for a 55-27 advantage.

"We're just trying to play as fast as we can, use our athleticism, get up, get steals and just kind of play, not try and slow down and run an offense, just score quick," McClure said. "We have a lot of depth on the bench. We have a lot of guards that are able to get after it. I hope this is just a preview of what's to come."

Fenton had 23 turnovers on 50 first-half possessions. The Bison closed to 7-5 less than three minutes into the first quarter, but the Storm responded with a 14-2 run and led by double digits the rest of the night.

"That was their game. They wanted to go up and down the floor and we are not that type of team," said Fenton assistant coach Mark Farrell, who is filling in as coach while Josh Payton recovers from hernia surgery.

"They were just one rebound, one outlet pass, a second outlet pass and then they were going to the rack. Our kids just have to lean how to play hard. They have to want to get back on defense. We had 38 turnovers and I would say (they) led to 55, 58 points. If you can't take care of the basketball, you can't beat anybody."

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