So much for having a short roster available.
The Larkin boys basketball team was missing two injured players when it invaded Streamwood Wednesday -- including senior co-captain Drew Jones, who rolled an ankle against Benet last Saturday -- and was also missing four reserves "for various reasons," according to coach Deryn Carter.
Unfazed, the Royals rolled to a 75-43 victory to remain unbeaten in the Upstate Eight River.
Senior guard Taylor Boley started in place of Jones and scored a game-high 16 points, thanks to 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. The team effort by Larkin (15-3, 6-0) included 13 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds from senior guard Kendale McCullum, 14 points from senior guard Derrick Streety, 10 points from reserve Jack McCracken and 10 points from 6-foot-5 freshman Christian Negron, who provided the early fireworks.
Negron ran the floor with McCullum in the opening minute and was rewarded with a lob pass for a ferocious dunk to open the scoring. Negron stole a perimeter pass moments later and broke away for a one-handed dunk that made it 10-4 Larkin midway through the opening period.
McCullum opened the second quarter by sending a lob pass over the Streamwood defense, which Negron slammed home for an 18-10 lead.
"We run that play a lot out of a timeout," McCullum said. "He knows when to go because he'll look at me and I'll give him that little (eyebrow lift). Once his guys starts to creep up because me and Derrick have a lot of attention on us, he comes in and it's open every time."
"Playing with him for a couple of months, there's just a chemistry," Negron said of McCullum.
Streamwood (2-20, 0-7) scored 18 points in the second quarter and gained some energy when 5-6½ sophomore guard Jelyn Hill was freed by Jacob Siewert's outlet pass for a breakaway dunk. The play keyed a 6-0 Streamwood run that pulled it within 37-28 at the half, an impressive surge considering the Sabres were playing their eighth game in as many days.
"The kids are playing hard, they're staying positive and they're supporting each other," Streamwood first-year coach Paul Kowalyszyn said. "They know we're struggling, but against a team like that with the size and the skill level, I can't ask for more from our guys. They're playing hard and that's all I can ask for right now."
Larkin, which shuttled 10 players in and out of the game in the second quarter, returned its starting lineup in the third quarter and blitzed the Sabres 24-9 to take a 61-37 lead to the fourth quarter.
The Royals won the rebounding battle 42-19 and shot 29 of 63 from the field (46 percent), 9 of 22 from 3-point range (41 percent).
Jacob Siewert led the Sabres with 10 points and 4 rebounds, sophomore Jacob McGlone sank three 3-pointers to finish with 9 points and Travious Brown-Utley added 8 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.