Elgin senior Isaiah Butler returned after a two-game absence and promptly gave the Maroons a big lift offensively.
Butler scored a game high 24 points pushing the Maroons to a 60-52 Upstate Eight Conference River Division boys basketball victory over visiting Streamwood Saturday night at Chesbrough Field House.
Butler was held out of the previous two games due to a “coach’s decision.” The senior came off the bench early in the first quarter and promptly supplied a bit of energy to the Maroons’ attack.
Butler scored 13 first-half points in helping the Elgin secure a 35-30 advantage. He then scored 9 points in the third quarter as the Maroons extended their lead to 14 points.
“(Butler) can score night in and night out,” said Elgin coach Mike Sitter of his senior leader. “We definitely thrive off his energy; we are a better team with him on the court.”
Elgin (9-16, 4-7) held a 39-34 advantage with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter then promptly went on a 9-0 in taking a comfortable 48-34 lead.
Senior Kiko Mari (4 points) started the decisive run with a running layup. Butler then scored the next 7 points capping the run with dunk.
“We’ve been looking at putting our defense and offense together at the same time,” said Butler, as Elgin won its second consecutive game. “We’ve been playing hard, but we’ve been losing close games. Tonight we were able to execute.”
Sophomore Lavion Baldwin gave the Maroons a lift offensively scoring 12 points, and he combined with Mari to provide some tough defense in the post.
“We felt we had to come out and play hard in the third quarter,” said Baldwin. “Things started to go our way, our intensity was high and our defense got our offense going.”
Streamwood (2-24, 0-11) kept things close in the first half only trailing 15-12 after one quarter. The Sabres used a 7-2 run midway through the second quarter to pull within 2 at 28-26.
Sophomore Jacob McGlone (4 points) and Anthony Berrios (3 points) gave the Sabres a lift during the run. Senior Antonio Harris (12 points) and junior Cole Segar (14 points) also aided the Sabres’ attack.
But Streamwood had no answer during the decisive third quarter run, committing 5 turnovers.
“We got away from what we were doing,” said Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn. “We lost our focus and got away from everything we were doing. It kept snowballing. Our defense all year, we haven’t been able to make the key stops.”
Senior Desmond Sanders added 12 points for the Maroons, and senior Donte Harper and sophomore Desmond Douglas helped control the pace on offense.
Elgin hung tough in the final quarter converting 6-of-10 free throws to get a key victory.
“It’s the right time of year to get a little momentum,” said Sitter. “Hopefully this carries over the next few weeks.”