Location, location, location.
Maybe it's time to call Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber "the realtor." Maybe not. And he sure wasn't the director of the Oscar-nominated movie Silver Linings Playbook. But there was a distinctive advantage for Huber's Chargers in Friday night's Fox Valley Conference crossover at Crystal Lake Central, which the Chargers won 68-45 in Crystal Lake.
The Chargers (8-17) will be back in CL Central's gym Monday night to open up their Class 4A postseason against Crystal Lake South at 6 p.m. in hopes for return trips throughout the week and after their good fortune in the Tigers' den, they might as well make themselves right at home.
"I told (CL Central coach Rich Czeslawski) I hoped we'd play (his) guys so we could play a game here before the tournament," an ambitious Huber said. "He said we got our wish and our guys shot the ball really well tonight."
D-C sank 21 shots on a 53 percent clip on tough Central hoops with deep backdrops behind the glass. But it was their hot third quarter where the Chargers shot 7 of 11 from the field that ballooned a 6-point halftime lead into a commanding 18-point cushion heading into the fourth.
"I think it will help us carry momentum into the playoffs," said D-C's Nick Munson, who shared a game-high 18 points and managed 3 rebounds. "I'm glad it's here. We play well here."
It definitely showed as Dundee-Crown committed just 1 of its 5 turnovers in an almost blemish-free third quarter when the Chargers took care of the ball, which led to good shots. D-C also limited CLC (3-24) to 6 points in the third on 2 of 7 shooting and forced 3 of Central's 17 turnovers in that stretch. The Chargers managed to score 14 points off CLC's turnovers overall.
"Coach talked about we need to play better defense, we let up way too many points in the first half," Munson said. "The defense definitely led to our offense."
The Chargers pounded the paint, scoring 25 points as Cordero Parson, who finished with 15 points, managed to get his way into the lane in the third and Sam Buckley, who added 9 points and 3 steals, capitalized on a 3-point play on a cut that put D-C up 47-29 with 1 minute left in the third. The lead never surpassed 23 and Central only held the lead twice, its last at 4-3 in the early going.
Central, the No. 6 seed heading into Monday's contest against No. 3 Jacobs, hung tough in the first half. Cavanagh Murphy drained 4 of his 5 3-pointers in the first half for 18 points, but a 3 by Zach Pochop from the top of the arc put the Chargers ahead by 6 at the half.
"I thought we played better, rebounded the ball, defended better," Huber said. "Hopefully we'll shoot that well next week and play a couple of more games up here."