When Interstate Eight Conference rivals Lisle and Westmont share a basketball court, it gets heated. After Westmont took a 6-point lead out of halftime, Lisle coach Mark LaScala focused that heat.
"We challenged our guys in the timeout there, and Mark (McGrath) responded really well," LaScala said.
On Lisle's senior night, seniors McGrath and Trevor Stitt keyed a 16-2 third quarter run, separation that helped lift the Lions to a 49-40 victory.
"He was basically telling us to wake up and really get it going. We did that," said McGrath, who scored a season-high 31 points.
"I think we really found a rhythm offensively. We weren't forcing things or rushing things, we were just kind of letting the game come to us."
Down 29-23 early in the third quarter, Stitt hit a 3, McGrath scored off a steal then hit a 3 himself.
Lisle (17-11, 7-4) got the ball back on another McGrath steal, and on an inbounds play Stitt bounced the ball off a Sentinel, gathered it and scored while getting fouled. Stitt's free throw earned the Lions' 11th straight point.
"The second half we came out and played stronger man-to-man defense," said Stitt, who scored 8 points. "I think that was the key. We got stops and then pushed it."
Lisle's Bryan O'Connell capped the third-quarter scoring with a left-wing 3 for a 39-31 lead, and Stitt saw McGrath on a backdoor cut for a 41-31 lead to open the fourth.
"I feel like we played really hard but in the third quarter we turned it over a couple times and we just didn't keep our poise," said Westmont sophomore guard Michael Thompson, who scored 4 points with 2 steals.
Westmont (10-17, 3-8) made 23 turnovers overall, 3 to help Lisle go up 43-33 with 4:52 left to play. Jalen Wilmington, who scored a team-high 13 points, hit successive 3-pointers to get within 43-39, but Westmont didn't score again until Wilmington's free throw with 1:04 to play.
Late in the game Westmont guard Troy Schlicter took an elbow to the head in a pileup and was said to be on the concussion protocol.
Sophomore Caden Anderson, Westmont's top scorer, sat most of the first half with two fouls by 3:50 of the first quarter. He finished with 7 points, coach Craig Etheridge saying he never found a flow.
"He's averaging about 16 a game and without him getting any good looks or getting to the free-throw line it's hard for us to put points up sometimes. Yeah, it definitely hurt that he got into foul trouble early," Etheridge said.