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Recently injured IC College Prep senior point guard Anthony Taylor hasn't lost a step as a passer.
In his third game back from a sprained ankle, Taylor delivered a season-high 8 assists Wednesday as part of the Knights' blistering start in a 67-48 nonconference victory over Lisle in Elmhurst.
"I wasn't really going for (that many). It's just that everybody seemed to be (hitting shots), everything was flowing," Taylor said.
"I definitely feel like I'm 100 percent. I tape it up before the game, but I feel great when I get out there. I feel comfortable doing everything that I've been doing before."
Sophomore Rhaushaun Epting and seniors Clark Brinkman and Ross Fleming each hit two 3s for the Knights (13-3), who had seven for the game. Epting finished with 22 points, and Brinkman had 14.
Brinkman and Fleming nailed wide-open 3s against the Lions' 2-3 zone defense for a 6-0 lead 34 seconds into the game, prompting a timeout from Lisle coach Mark LaScala.
The Knights led 10-2 after two minutes and made 7 of their first 8 shots with two 3s from Fleming for a 17-3 advantage.
"That's what we look for every game. We want to get out there with intensity and show the other team that we're ready to play," Brinkman said. "We're strong when we're running, when we're using all of our assets. It really helps when we get the enthusiasm and momentum going our way."
Twelve steals and 27 Lisle turnovers also helped to negate the Lions' height advantage.
"I thought we came out with pretty good intensity and good ball pressure. We were able to pressure the outside a little bit to keep them from penetrating," IC coach T.J. Tyrrell said.
"We started shooting well early and we went from there. The last few games we've been (doing that)."
Lisle (2-14) trailed 20-9 after one quarter and began using its bench. The Knights led 41-21 by halftime and scored the first six points of the third quarter.
Reserve Shane Murray had 10 points before fouling out in the third quarter, and Jeremy Glavanovits had 8 points and 10 rebounds. Ten of the Lions' first 17 points came from non-starters.
"Actually, (our reserves) kind of held their own when we went 5 for 5. In the end they had too many weapons," LaScala said. "They're a strong squad. I didn't think we hit the floor ready to play and they went for the jugular right away. That was disappointing."
Taylor assisted 8 of the Knights' first 16 field goals before getting his only 3 points in the third quarter.
"If that's what I have to do to win the games, then that's what I'll do," Taylor said. "The guys knocked down their shots a lot the last couple of practices and we looked for that during this game."
During the IC/Westmont Invite, Taylor injured his ankle landing on another player and missed the 64-47 loss to Evergreen Park Dec. 28. IC was coming off a 70-58 loss at York Saturday.
"It's nice to have (Taylor) back because he brings a spark and an intensity," Tyrrell said.
The Knights now are looking for a better finish Friday at St. Edward in a key Suburban Christian Conference Gold meeting.
IC is 5-0 in league play but lost to the Green Wave 60-57 Nov. 30 in the Westminster Christian Tournament final. St. Edward has an SCC Gold loss to Montini, which IC edged 49-45 Dec. 20.
"It's probably our biggest conference rival right now. It's just a huge game for us," Brinkman said. "It's loud at that gym and we know it's going to be a tough battle and we're ready for it."