St. Charles North grabs control of DuKane race
Senior Thomas Kellen and sophomore Ethan Marlowe gave St. Charles North control of its DuKane Conference destiny Friday.
The 6-foot-5 Kellen and 6-7 Marlowe helped the North Stars turn a 12-point second-quarter deficit against rival St. Charles East into a 63-52 victory.
The win gives St. Charles North (19-6, 10-1) a one-game game lead on St. Charles East (19-7, 9-2) with three conference games remaining for each.
North 6-10 center Connor Linke was called for his second foul with his team trailing by 9 points with 5:09 left in the second quarter. The Saints bulged that lead to 25-13 on a Zack Clodi 3-pointer a moment later.
Kellen then initiated the turnaround. The forward grabbed 5 of his team-high 12 rebounds in the second quarter -- 3 on the offensive glass -- and scored 6 points during a 12-2 closing run that trimmed the deficit to 27-25 before halftime.
"I knew I had to get on the boards, box out, be physical and play my game," Kellen said. "When we got it down to 2, we knew we could come out firing in the second half."
Marlowe closed the first half with an inside bucket and led the charge in the third quarter. The reserve, whose previous single-game high was 13 points, scored 12 of his game-best 21 points in the third quarter as the North Stars outscored the Saints 21-9 to take a 10-point lead.
"Being young, that's one of the best environments I've ever played in," Marlowe said. "Crosstown rivalry, that's great. I just came into that game having all the confidence I needed. It was great for me to execute and perform on the biggest stage."
Marlowe made 7 of 9 field-goal attempts, including a 3-pointer. He also contributed 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.
"Credit Marlowe for stepping up and having a huge second half," St. Charles East coach Pat Woods said. "We didn't shoot the ball very well, I think 28 percent from the field. They're a good team. I thought our kids hard. I'm proud of how we played. They just beat us tonight."
St. Charles East specializes in pressure defense and points off turnovers, but the North Stars beat the Saints at their own game in the third quarter by winning the turnover battle 7-0.
"I think it was just sound, half-court defense," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said. "We shrunk the floor, they were uncomfortable making passes and there really wasn't anybody wide open to throw to. That's because we did a much better job of closing out and directing where we wanted the ball to go."
Senior Thomas Ditsworth scored 17 points and Clodi finished with 10 points for the Saints, who were outrebounded 38-29.
St. Charles North guard Luke Scheffers finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds, Kellen had 8 points, Linke contributed 7 points and 7 rebounds and senior guard Colin Nelson scored 9 points on three 3-pointers.