On an afternoon of careers bests, Dom Adduci and St. Charles East bettered Jack Lipp and his Libertyville basketball teammates.
Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil likened the Saints' style of play to "Loyola Marymount" after witnessing Aducci torch his Wildcats for 36 points.
Scoring 23 or more points in three of the four quarters at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament Monday in Hillside, the Saints advanced to the consolation championship with their 88-77 victory.
St. Charles East (9-5) faces celebrated Public League program Westinghouse at 11:30 a.m. today.
"We were feeling it from warm-ups," Adduci said of the Saints' blistering first-half in which they knocked down nine 3-pointers in assembling a 48-34 lead at the intermission.
But the Saints' warmth from the perimeter waned considerably in the second half.
Behind Lipp, who lit up St. Charles East with 13-of-17 shooting from the field in authoring a career-high 32 points, the Wildcats stormed back with a 28-11 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.
The Saints' onetime 19-point lead was shaved to 66-64.
But Adduci was up for the task.
Following the fourth Mick Vyzral 3-pointer of the contest and 3 free throws, Adduci snared a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a three-point play.
The Saints' 9-point burst in slightly more than a minute upped the lead back to double digits.
"We needed a bucket," Adduci said. "I felt like I could beat (the Libertyville defenders) down the floor. I felt like it was a strong move."
Adduci pumped in 20 of his points in the first half, hitting three 3-pointers in the process.
Like all of his teammates except Vyzral, all of his downtown jumpers were fruitless after the intermission.
Improvising, Adduci drove the paint with abandon.
"He hit some crazy shots," Bogumil said.
Libertyville (7-5) could have gained far greater momentum had it not been for its poor free-throw shooting.
The Wildcats ended the game at less than 50 percent (15 of 31) and, more importantly, missed all six three-point-play chances in the second half.
"We had so many three-point (play) opportunities," Bogumil said. "Free throws are contagious. Unfortunately, we had the flu today."
But Lipp was sensational all day for the Wildcats.
The senior guard scored at will both inside and outside to keep the Libertyville within striking distance.
"We tried to keep the ball out of his hands," St. Charles East coach Patrick Woods said. "What a player. He killed us."
"(St. Charles East) finally missed a few shots," Lipp said of the Wildcats' explosive third-quarter run. "I was just going to the basket. They kept leaving me a lot of one-on-one (situations on defense)."
But St. Charles East was far from a one-man band.
AJ Washington was a monster on the boards with 18 rebounds to augment 12 points.
Cole Gentry was an ideal backcourt mate for Adduci, as the junior not only directed the offense with precision with 6 assists but also hit two 3-pointers to flavor his 16-point effort.
Vyzral was the fourth St. Charles East player in double figures with 13 points.
"We have a lot of kids who are capable of scoring," Woods said.
Lipp, who also had 10 rebounds, was complemented by post Joe Borcia, who finished with 17 points and 9 boards. Johnny Vernasco was the third Wildcat in double figures with 13 points.