South Elgin's third-quarter surge followed by raining 3-pointers proved to be too much for Hampshire in Monday's opening round of pool play in Sycamore's 55th edition of the Leland G. Strombom Holiday Tournament.
South Elgin's 89-61 victory in the boys basketball season opener for both sides began with a back-and-forth first quarter before a lack of luck or an invisible lid on the Hampshire basket created a gap. The Storm ended the half with a 3-pointer for a 41-30 intermission edge, then utilized its height advantage to double its lead by the end of the third quarter, and had four different players drain 3-pointers in the fourth as part of 13-3 advantage in treys.
"Having multiple guys hit threes was an example of how we looked for the open guy," South Elgin coach Brett Johnson noted. "The chemistry from our summer games came to fruition in that they understand it doesn't matter who gets it done as long as South Elgin wins. Once we got some jitters out, they executed the game plan flawlessly and pushed the ball."
The Storm's 6-foot-5 Vince Miszkiewicz had two of his three dunks to electrify the third-quarter charge as South Elgin built a 27-point lead before Hampshire closed with a mini 7-2 run.
"Those dunks felt great because they helped get the crowd going and gets new life into the bench," Miszkiewicz said. "We've really got great team camaraderie and everyone looks for the open guy."
Drake Montgomery's assist led to Miszkiewicz's third slam as part of his game-high 19 points which was followed by the last of reserve Jace Warrick's four 3-pointers for 12 points. Noah Rohr had 13 while Montgomery added 11.
"Drake stood out as a point guard in the way he distributed the ball so well," Johnson noted.
"That's my job since I'm surrounded by good shooters," Montgomery added.
Hampshire was led by J.D. Shaw's team-best 12 with 10 points from both Collin Woods and Drew Dalby. At 6-5, Dalby was the only Whip-Pur over 6-foot-3 compared to the Storm boasting five at that height or higher.
"Give them credit, they simply didn't miss quality chances," Hampshire coach Ben Whitehouse acknowledged. "We scored 61 and yet I believe we missed a dozen layups, so there a positives for us to build on. Perhaps their length was a factor, yet we didn't really take that many bad shots; we just didn't get finishes. If those go in, we can set up defensively instead of getting beat in transition. Guys came off the bench ready to go, so finishing stronger or with more confidence around the basket can make a big difference for us."