Last season, York's boys basketball team found itself taking too much time to get into the flow of the game. But the Dukes vowed to change that this year.
"We are really trying to come out fast this year," said Charlie Rose, who had the Dukes running the court early and often. "We have a different mentality and we like to jump on storm early."
Rose and his mates did just that, bouncing out to a quick lead and getting past Rolling Meadows 56-40 Wednesday in the Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Classic on Wednesday in Palatine.
Rose, who finished with a game-high 14 points, nailed a pair of 3s and Stanley Roberts (12 points) chipped in another basket from outside the arc as the Dukes built a 9-1 advantage.
York then turned up the defensive pressure, keeping Rolling Meadows away from the basket and forcing the Mustangs to shoot from the outside. The defensive strategy paid huge dividends with the Mustangs converting just 1 of their first 13 shots as York extended its lead to 19-7 midway through the second quarter.
"We are really excited about the way we are playing," said York coach Vince Doran, whose team beat Chicago Richard by 40 points on Tuesday. "We have kids who have been through this before. I think they are pretty hungry to prove that are really a good group and that they can play with a chip on their shoulder."
The Dukes got strong performances from Frank Toohey, who was tough in the post and scored 8 points; Jack Heinle, who had 7 points and 10 rebounds; Jayvon Thomas, who came off the bench to score 6 points; and Luke Libert who chipped in 5 points.
"With the new emphasis on the rule changes, we have wanted our guys to attack the basket," Doran said. "And I think we did a good job of that."
After trailing 28-15 at the half, Rolling Meadows (0-2) got the lead down to 10 points twice in the second half, the final time to make it 36-26. But the Dukes ran off 14 unanswered points to put the game away.
Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich must have figured that Wednesday's game was a continuation from Tuesday's loss to Deerfield when the Warriors hit five 3-pointers to start the game.
"We were not ready to play at all," Katovich said. "They took it to us. We were down early and absolutely had no energy. We were never in the game."
Despite that, Katovich was pleased with the play of sophomore Matt Wojcik and senior Charlie Metzger. Both came off the bench, with Wojcik leading the Mustangs with 11 points and Metzger chipping in 5.
"They both gave us some energy out there when we needed it," Katovich said.
Wojcik, who scored 5 points off the bench on Tuesday, likes his new role on the varsity squad.
"Coach has been telling me since the start of the season to shoot the ball," Wojcik said. "He said he would tell me when to stop, and he didn't tonight.
"I am trying to get adjusted to playing varsity ball. I need to learn to go up quicker."
Matt Dolan had 10 points Rolling Meadows, which shot 32 percent (13-of-41). Jonny Ungurean had 6 points while Pat Kramp, who scored 18 points on Tuesday, was limited to 5 points.