In crunchtime, Larkin's senior leaders took over the game, just like they're supposed to.
Jalen Shaw and Anthony Lynch scored all of Larkin's points in the fourth quarter as the Royals held off scrappy Streamwood, 62-57, in Upstate Eight River boys basketball action in Elgin Friday night.
Shaw (23 points overall) and Lynch (18) combined for 17 points in that final period. The Sabres led 53-51 on a Nikola Sinik 3-pointer, but Lynch nailed a 3-pointer, then scored inside to put the Royals ahead for good.
Both teams showed their intensity the entire length of the floor although neither team shot the ball particularly well. While the big men did most of the damage late, the guards picked their teams up in the first half.
Junior Pierre Black made four 3-pointers in the second quarter when the Royals were struggling to score. Black connected 3 times in 4 possessions to take Larkin (4-2, 1-0) from a 15-11 deficit to a 20-17 lead. Junior DeAngelo Flynn countered with 6 points in that quarter for the Sabres (2-3, 0-1). He had 8 in the first half while also dishing out some key assists. The 5-foot-8 Flynn also grabbed 4 rebounds for the game.
"We had other guys miss wide open shots," said Larkin coach Deryn Carter. "We got good shots for 32 minutes. I don't know what our shooting percentage was, but evidently it was good enough to get a win."
Carter called Shaw the best big man in the area.
"I think our guys are still learning how to play with him when he's playing with that type of motivation," said Carter.
And this is not your father's Streamwood Sabres. They stayed with the Royals despite 6-7 forward Keenon Cole spending most of the game in foul trouble, a fact that irritated Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn.
"I don't want to jump the gun, but I think we're the best Streamwood team we've put out there in a long time," said Kowalyszyn. "I think without some players sitting on the bench most of the time in foul trouble, that's a closer game at the end and maybe a different outcome.
"I was happy with their composure. I told them they were more composed than I was and I'm proud of them. I lost my mind and didn't set the best example, but I'm proud that all of them did. They held themselves together."
Larkin led 45-39 after 3 quarters. And after Lynch opened the fourth quarter with a basket off Shaw's assist, the Royals looked ready to pull away. But Streamwood answered with a 9-0 run to go ahead 48-47, with Sinik scoring the last 5 points.