It was a third quarter to remember for Cary-Grove, and one to forget for Crystal Lake South.
Making 9 of its first 10 shots, the Trojans ripped off a 22-4 run to start the third quarter and broke open a close game in cruising to a 61-43 win over the short-handed Gators in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in Cary Friday night.
'We changed our press at halftime and wanted South to play faster," said Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle. "We got some ideal trapping opportunities and got them out of whack, We got some easy shots and hit some 3s. We played a great third quarter."
Nursing a slim 27-23 lead at halftime, the Trojans, who made 3-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc during the pivotal surge, held a commanding 22 point 49-27 advantage with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
The heroes were many for Trojans (11-8, 4-2) in the third.
Jason Gregoire scored 9 points including a crucial dunk, Devin McDonough canned a pair of 3-pointers and Justin Blair buried a trey as Cary-Grove seized control.
The Gators, playing their first game without standout Austin Rogers (knee injury), competed hard in the first half.
"We missed too many shots in the third quarter, turned the ball over too much and got out of rhythm,"said Gators' coach Matt LePage. "We didn't handle Cary-Grove's trap very well and they got a lot of easy shots. Give Cary-Grove credit. They didn't do a lot of things wrong in the third quarter."
The Trojans, who used 11 players in the first half and were 8-of-14 from 3-point range for 57 percent, were led by Gregoire with 22 points and McDonough tallied 11 including 3 treys.
"I felt I had the 3-point stroke in warm-ups," said McDonough. "They were collapsing inside and I got some good kick out passes and got some open looks. That third quarter was a lot of fun. It helps we can play a lot of guys. I can play hard and come out when I get tired. We fed off the energy from the crowd."
Caleb Johnson, with 3 treys, led the Gators with 14 points while Chris Mahoney added 11 points.