As streaks go, the Larkin boys basketball team is riding an all-timer.
Though host Elgin kept the Upstate Eight River clash close for three quarters Friday night, the Maroons couldn't stave off rival Larkin's history-making 79-56 victory.
With their 12th straight win against Elgin, the Royals set a record for consecutive victories in the crosstown series by either school, an accomplishment the Larkin players were keenly aware of entering the game.
"I took pride in the fact the kids knew about it before we brought it up," Larkin coach and graduate Deryn Carter said. "Because they're letting me know (they understand) the history we talk about, being a part of something bigger than you and having the opportunity to leave a footprint on something that's going to be there when you're gone. We're going to talk about it in the locker room for sure. They're happy."
The Royals' collective mood wasn't so rosy an hour earlier when Larkin (12-10, 3-4) took a 33-30 lead to the halftime locker room.
Elgin (11-9, 2-5), which lost the first meeting between the schools 70-47 on Dec. 16, benefitted from the Royals' 13 first-half turnovers, 6 of which were committed by 5-foot-7 point guard Kindrel "Nomo" Morris.
However, Morris made amends after the intermission. He opened the third quarter with a steal and a layup. At the start of the fourth quarter, he set up sophomore Pierre Black and senior Kashmir Ivy for 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, sparking a 10-2 run that doubled Larkin's 8-point lead through three quarters.
"I told my teammates 'I've got to play better so we can play better,'" said Morris, who had 7 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. "I played better and everybody played better. We got the fans in it and it just went from there."
Elgin, still missing injured guard Reggie Cole, had trouble handling Larkin's second-half pressure. The Maroons committed 13 of their 22 turnovers after halftime.
"I'm frustrated with all the turnovers," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "And a lot of them were just unforced, guys rushing, guys hurrying. We practiced all week against pressure and just making back cuts left and right and you didn't see it."
Senior Kashmir Ivy came off the bench to lead the Royals with a game-best 24 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. He scored 13 points in the second half as the Royals outscored the Maroons 46-26 to pull away.
"We had to stop being one-on-one fancy with it and trying to outmaneuver them," Ivy said. "We need to just move the ball back and forth and make them move left to right and then get a score like that instead of just trying to make an and-one play and not getting anything out of it, a bad shot."
Larkin 6-10 junior Jalen Shaw had 13 points and 7 rebounds and junior guard Anthony Lynch finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Senior Courtese Cooper registered 18 points and 12 rebounds, Dan Toolsie scored 12 points and Tre Morris added 10 for Elgin, which still leads the all-time series 79-52.