Buffalo Grove junior guard Jack Vaselaney said the plan for his team was to go inside Wednesday night against Glenbrook South.
"We wanted to pound the ball down to number 54," said Vaselaney in reference to 6-foot-6 center Mac Camardo, "and that would open up the floor for our shooters."
The idea worked to perfection for BG, as Camardo scored 11 points and keyed the Bison offensive attack in a 64-55 win over the Titans at the Bison Classic.
Colin Calcagno, a senior guard, led the way for BG with a game-high 24 points, including 8-for-8 from the foul line.
"We played at the pace we wanted to in the second half," said Bison coach Keith Peterson. "Not many teams can keep up with the depth we have. We kind of wore them down."
South held a 9-6 lead after a sloppily played first quarter, but BG came alive in the second behind some hot shooting from Vaselaney, who finished with 14 points.
Two free throws late in the second quarter from junior guard Caleb Mayhorn gave the Bison their first lead of the game at 23-22. A steal by Mayhorn and a bucket by Kyle Zyck saw the Bison go into halftime up 25-22.
"In the first half we were playing a little excited, a little rushed," said Peterson. "It wasn't up to our standards, but considering we had the lead despite that, I was pleased."
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, but a long-range 3 by Vaselaney enabled BG to open up a 5-point lead.
The Bison pounded the boards in the fourth quarter, and when Zyck grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Calcagno for a jumper, the Bison led 47-38 midway through.
Twice in the final minute the Titans were able to close within 5, but some terrific defense from Mayhorn and clutch free throw shooting from Calcagno, Zach Fricke and Demetri Lomnick helped BG close out the contest and move to 2-0.
South missed 5 of 9 free throws late which prevented them from getting any closer, and the Bison "D" held the Titans to 7-of-23 shooting from 3-point range.
Calcagno had 5 rebounds for BG, while Mayhorn pitched in with 6 points, including 4 in the fourth quarter.
Fricke had 5 points for the winners.
"We tried to keep the ball away from their main shooters tonight," said Vaselaney, "and keep moving the ball. I thought we were great defensively in the fourth quarter. We made our free throws and we were able to hold them off."