Everything that could have gone right for the Deerfield Warriors, did.
Everything that could have gone wrong for the Maine West Warriors, ditto.
Following Deerfield's 61-38 win over Maine West in Des Plaines, Deerfield coach Dan McKendrick found out that Maine East had upset Highland Park, leaving those two teams tied for the Central Suburban North lead at 7-1 as Deerfield improved to 15-5 overall.
Maine West (9-11, 3-4) played their first of four games in the next five days and missed an opportunity to get back into the league race.
"I had a bad feeling going into this game," said Maine West coach John Bongiorno. "We had some illness this week in practice and a few other players had to miss for various reasons. With a short roster (11 players), it's hard to have good practices. And it showed.
"We hurt ourselves with turnovers (13), which came at crucial times. We also had a bad shooting night (11-for-42), which didn't help."
Deerfield's turnovers (23) helped keep Maine West in the game in the first half. Deerfield led 27-17, but the third quarter did in Maine West when it was outscored 19-12.
Three-year starter Eric Porter helped shoot Deerfield out to a lead, scoring 11 of his 17 points in the first half. Stefanos Fasianos keyed the second half for Deerfield, tallying 13 of his 17 points in the third quarter.
Fasianos and Michael Alfieri (9 points) each pulled down 7 rebounds for Deerfield, which earned a 32-15 advantage on the boards.
Joel Ferraren led Maine West with 14 points, and Rag Patel had 10.
"We had hoped that our size advantage would make a difference," said McKendrick. "We had to keep them out of the paint. That's what we worked on in practice this week. Every time we come here, it's usually a tough game for us. They have good shooters but their shots didn't fall tonight.
"I was really impressed with Porter's work. He was active and loud. He guided the defense and kept talking to his teammates. That's what a three-year varsity starter and captain does."
"I'll do whatever I have to do to get a win," said Porter. "It was important to get off to a good start tonight and not let up."
Maine West hopes to regroup for a Saturday night nonconference game at Elk Grove. The Warriors then host Glenbrook North in a make-up game at 7 p.m. Monday before hosting Leyden at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.