Downers Grove South storms past Addison Trail
Downers Grove South's two top scoring threats combined for 7 points in the first half, but the Mustangs still had 43 points and a double-digit halftime lead.
That's how good -- and deep -- this boys basketball team is. And it's the biggest difference between this season and last when the Mustangs won only five games.
Behind five double-figure scorers, Downers South matched last season's win total with Friday's 82-63 West Suburban Gold victory over visiting Addison Trail.
Standout Mustangs juniors T.J. Clifford, who had 16 points and 8 rebounds, and Denis Alibegovic, who had 10 points, both came on in the second half. But it was the supporting cast, headed by guards Sam Ebersold and Dylan Kaczmarek, that powered Downers South (5-1, 2-0) to the big lead.
"We all know each other's role, and that's a big thing we learned this summer," said Ebersold, who led all scorers with 21 points. "Coming out and knowing what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are, we all accept that. We try to run our offense through that."
Downers South burst to a 10-0 lead to start the game and never looked back. Even though Addison Trail (4-2, 1-1) stayed within 4 points midway through the second quarter on a bucket by Michael Williams, who led the Blazers with 20 points, the pace was far too fast to keep up with the Mustangs.
The Mustangs closed the first half on a 10-2 run, capped by an Alibegovic 3-pointer, and started the second half with a 6-2 run highlighted by Clifford's thunderous one-handed dunk off a steal. Trailing 49-33 at that point, Addison Trail never again narrowed the gap to single digits.
"They do come at you from a lot of different directions and they've got different guys who can score," said Blazers coach Brendan Lyons. "It was evident from the very beginning that they wanted a fast tempo and they wanted to speed us up, and the full-court did that. We were never able to get into a rhythm offensively."
Kaczmarek scored all 15 of his points in the first half while 6-foot-9 Donovan Ferguson scored 10 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and blocked 4 shots for the Mustangs. Nick Conrad scored 11 points for Addison Trail and Colton Noel added 10 points.
"We have all 16 guys on our team committed to playing the right way," said Downers South coach Kris Olson. "It's easy to do this when you have guys that already know what they're doing."
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