2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/8/2017 10:39 PM

Bartlett cruises past West Chicago

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By Andy Martinez
Daily Herald Correspondent

Tomas Vikonis and Bartlett had nearly a flawless night.

"We really moved the ball well," Vikonis said. "For the first time this year, and probably for a while, we have size, we were bigger than them, so we tried to get in the post, seal them, get easy layups. We outrebounded them."

Bartlett cruised to a 67-44 boys basketball win over West Chicago in the Upstate Eight Valley opener for both teams.

Well, there was one small snafu. Just, don't blame Vikonis or any Bartlett player.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Johnny Angell checked into the game with the number 52, but there was no 52 listed on the roster, so the Hawks were assessed a technical foul.

"We got some mixed up numbers," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said with a laugh. "That's on me, I got to take care of business. "

The Bartlett (3-5, 1-0) players had some fun with it, too.

"Now we said that (Angell) had the wrong number, now he's got the most technicals on the team," Vikonis said with a laugh.

The Hawks, showed both their prowess and height advantage on the glass. Bartlett outrebounded West Chicago (3-2, 0-1) 32-19, which included a 9-3 advantage on the offensive glass.

"We weren't boxing out hard," West Chicago guard Isaac Nelson said. "We weren't attacking the glass with aggression and going after each loose ball."

Really, West Chicago stumbled out of the gates.

The Wildcats missed their first four shots, allowed 4 offensive rebounds and trailed 8-3 just 4 minutes, 33 seconds into the game.

"(Bartlett is) athletic," West Chicago coach Bill Recchia said. "In order to beat a team that is that athletic and highflying, you have to do the little things right. You need to come out with energy. We did not come out with energy."

West Chicago showed some fight, though, in the second quarter. The Wildcats chipped away, and with 3:37 left in the half Jeremy Belingon found Jason Gimre for a 3-pointer, to trim the deficit to 22-21.

Bartlett, however, kicked things back up. The Hawks closed the half on a 9-1 run to take a 31-22 lead at the half.

"The whole game, everyone was just playing together," Bartlett forward Austin Gates said. "We had good chemistry and everything started clicking."

And in the fourth quarter Bartlett stymied any attempt by West Chicago at a comeback.

Vikonis sparked a 13-4 run to open the fourth quarter, opening a 56-34 lead. Vikonis had 8 points, 2 rebounds and an assist on that run. Vikonis finished with a team-high 18 points while adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Junior Garrett Jurina had a double-double night, scoring 15 and adding 10 rebounds.

"I did not want them to come back," Vikonis said. "We had kind of a rough third quarter; we turned it over a lot. We were nonchalant with the ball. We were just careless.

"I thought we had to attack more and I thought I had to get everybody else involved."

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