Lisle hits the mark with win against Seneca

 
 
Updated 12/9/2015 1:06 AM

It's just seven games into Lisle's boys basketball season but the Lions reached a landmark on Tuesday.

Against one of the Interstate Eight Conference standard bearers, Lisle beat Seneca 52-49, the first time that's happened since Feb. 7, 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It means something to me because they're a very well-coached team and it's never an easy win to get Seneca regardless of who they have out on the floor. I think it was a victory earned, and it always is against Seneca," said Lisle coach Mark LaScala.

Closing the first half on a 12-0 run, Lisle (4-3, 2-0) forced the Fighting Irish into 9 third-quarter turnovers to go up 41-25 late in the third.

The Lions survived 1-of-8 fourth-quarter foul shooting and Seneca's 22-point fourth quarter to hold on.

"I'm not sure Seneca lost as much as they ran out of time," LaScala said. "They were looking stronger as the game went on and they should be credited for that."

Lisle could take credit in holding its own inside with 5-foot-11 Adalberto Gutierrez and 6-foot-2 Mark McGrath.

"Me or McGrath, when we play in the post, our team gets motivation because we're not tall enough," said Gutierrez, who scored 10 points with 7 rebounds.

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The Lions also used ball pressure from Derrick Redmond, Nick Massura, Grant Haen and McGrath to harass Seneca (2-4, 0-1). Massura also assisted on three straight baskets to contribute to a strong fourth-quarter start.

"Derrick did a nice job of pressuring the ball and that led to a bunch of steals, and then we got in transition. We're best out in transition when we're running," said McGrath, who led all players with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals. Fighting Irish coach Russel Witte noted his inside players missed eight "point-blank looks" in the first half, which Lisle led 30-19 after trailing 12-10 after one quarter.

Returning Irish point guard Ross McCormick didn't see action until late, Witte easing him back from a stress fracture. The all-conference senior scored all 7 of his points during Seneca's fourth-quarter rally. Kole Gallick and 6-2 Brodin Harty led Seneca with 9 points apiece.

"Right now that's causing us some issues," Witte said of McCormick's status. "We're having a hard time getting into our stuff. It's no secret, Lisle knew it, that's why they come out and pressure us, force us into some of that stuff."

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