A recent run of poor stretches is starting to bother Larkin boys basketball coach Deryn Carter.
Streamwood went on a 19-2 run in the second quarter to cut the Royals lead from 21 to 4 with 2:15 remaining before halftime. Larkin was able to recover, taking control again by scoring the final 11 points of the halftime and earning a 71-41 Upstate Eight River victory at home Tuesday night.
“We’ll take a team making a run on us. We’re not invincible by any means,” Carter said. “We want teams making a run on us when we’re playing well. That’s four or five games in a row where we played stretches of basketball that are nowhere near our capabilities. We’ve got a lot room to improve.”
The Royals (21-3, 11-0) led 26-5 after Kendale McCullum’s basket with 7:02 remaining in the first half. Antonio Harris scored 7 consecutive points to spark a 19-2 over a 4-minute span to get Streamwood within 4, 28-24.
The Sabres (2-23, 0-10), who turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter, went 8-of-17 from the floor in the first 6 minutes of the second quarter, but did not turn the ball over during that stretch.
“The little stretches are getting longer and longer,” Streamwood coach and Larkin graduate Paul Kowalyszyn said. “When we get them it used to be we’d do it for 30 seconds or a couple minutes. Now it’s 4, 5, or 6 minutes. I thought we were playing like a ballclub. It was nice to see.”
McCullum had 4 points, Andrew Jones had 3 points, Brayden Royse had an offensive rebound and putback and Christian Negron converted an alley-oop dunk off an inbounds play in the final 2 minutes of the first half as Larkin took a 39-24 lead at halftime.
“We started playing lazy on defense. We weren’t talking. They were getting easy layups,” McCullum said of Streamwood’s run. “We didn’t take them out of their comfort zone.”
Streamwood got within 11, 40-29, early in the third quarter before the Royals went on a 10-0 run to increase the lead by to 21.
Negron led all scorers with 14 points and had 9 rebounds. McCullum, Royse and Tanner Gardon each added 12 points. Royse also had 9 rebounds.
Harris led the Sabres with 11 points. Jacob Siewert finished with 9 points and 7 rebounds.