When opponents get ready to play Schaumburg, they better be ready to face some solid, sticky man-to-man defense.
The Saxons came out with one of their better defensive efforts in stopping host Wheeling 48-38 Tuesday night in a Mid-Suburban League crossover.
"We got off to a slow start both on offense and defense in the first quarter," said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh. "We then played hard, smart and together. We started pressuring the ball well and we had some good team defense."
Wheeling (5-5) started out well, getting some balanced scoring and forcing some early Saxon (5-4) turnovers. The Wildcats let 12-5 with 3:40 left in the first quarter before Schaumburg got back on track by scoring the last 10 points of the quarter to lead 15-12. The Saxons never again trailed.
Bryce Carlson led the surge by scoring all 7 of his points in the run.
Wheeling could manage just 5-for-17 shooting in the middle two quarters, falling behind 36-26 entering the fourth quarter. The Wildcats would finish at 34 percent on 14-for-41 from the field, while the Saxons went 19-for-37 for 51 percent.
Schaumburg opened a 36-22 lead with :33 left in the third quarter before Jeremy Stephani (15 points, 4 rebounds) hit for two baskets and then a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, cutting the Saxons' lead to 36-29.
Senior Josh Rahn gave Schaumburg a fourth-quarter spark by converting a 3-point play, followed by 2 free throws to open a 41-29 lead with 6:11 left in the game. A 6-0 run late in the quarter led to a 48-33 lead with :47 left. Rahn, who led Schaumburg with 16 points, had two baskets in that span.
"They kind of knocked us in the face to start the game," said Rahn. "But we got up and answered their threat. We knew we had to stop Stephani. I thought Carlson did a real good job defensing him. I thought we did a good job stopping them inside also."
Brendan Parker scored 9 points for Schaumburg.
"We knew that Schaumburg prides themselves with their defense," said Wheeling coach Anthony Como. "We did a nice job in the first half on offense. We need to make more of the chances that we get on offense. We just didn't react well against their defense. We'll get back to work tomorrow to get ready for Hersey on Friday."