2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/8/2014 12:03 AM

West Chicago avenges loss to South Elgin

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By Steve Nichols

It is one thing to say threes were absolutely wild for West Chicago in its 90-63 Upstate Eight Valley clinic of South Elgin Friday night.

It's another thing if you want to revise a TV show lyric and say "where the threes are theirs and theirs and Bibbs, Three's Company, too."

It was more than a company of threes for the Wildcats, as John Konchar notched his first career triple-double of 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, the Wildcats were 11 of 22 from 3-point range and West Chicago (13-9, 5-6) scored 30 points in the third quarter rout where they shot 10 of 16.

But "threes" were wild, remember. So that's where sophomore Michael Bibbs enters the script. He scored a game-high 27 points, nailing 4-straight from the arc (6 total), all part of 6-straight triples the Wildcats hit in the late stages of the third where they blew it open. And while the Wildcats' 15-0 run in the second quarter paled in comparison to their 24-4 run in the third. They held South Elgin to 10 of 37 from 3-point land and as the 80s sitcom theme rolls on, you'll see life was a ball again for West Chicago, which avenged its 99-88 loss on the home court to South Elgin (10-12, 3-7) on Dec. 19.

The Wildcats will say it was their defense. And it was. But outscoring the Storm 30-12 in the third quarter was a statement in itself, too.

"We distributed the ball well and Bibbs finished all his 3s, Marco (Lomibao) contributed (with 2 3s), just everyone made 3s and shot the ball lights out this game," said Konchar, who notched 7 steals and 5 blocks. "I noticed it and I drove and passed it out to Bibbs. Made 'em."

Bibbs, who has never made that many in succession, especially in recent games, was due. As was snapping their 2-game skid and prolonging the Storm's to 6.

"Last couple games I had not shot well at all. I needed a game like this," said Bibbs, who was 6 of 11 from the arc. "We kind of took their game away from them and used it as our own. They're known to be a run-and-gun kind of team and we were doing it back to them and it paid off."

That's the Storm's identity, much displayed in its win at West Chicago, where Matt Smith went for 36. Friday he was held to 16. Darrius Wells notched 26. He was held to 12. Matt McClure added 21 that night. He had 5 as they combined for 50 less, whereas the team managed 36 less this time around.

"This whole victory came down to stepping-up our defensive effort," Wildcats coach Bill Recchia said. "Last time they scored 99 on us, 36 in the second quarter. We threw a challenge down to the boys and they stepped up and took it."

West Chicago didn't score many off 20 Storm turnovers but when the ball was in Konchar's hands he distributed or helped amass 22 team assists. The team also hit 17 of 29 from the stripe after 10 first half fouls for the Storm. Konchar threw down 2 two-handed slams, on a breakaway steal and down the left baseline in traffic when he wasn't trapped in the backcourt after a South Elgin made basket.

"It was rough to watch us try to guard them today. Konchar is so good when you have to manufacture ways to get the ball out of his hands and we did not locate their shooters or the weak side block," Storm coach Matt Petersen said. "Those are the areas when you bring that much attention to Konchar, two areas for them are (Gibbs) on the 3-point line and that weakside block for either a dish or an offensive rebound."

South Elgin shot a 33 percent clip on 63 shots. The Storm did win the rebound edge 29-28. But West Chicago sizzled at 53.7 percent from the field. It was 43-37 West Chicago after Tyler Hankins' (10 points, 15 rebounds) hook and South Elgin last led 12-11 on a Wells' 3-pointer/

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