Ridgewood downs St. Edward
The Ridgewood boys basketball team cashed in on its height advantage in a 73-59 Metro Suburban Red win over St. Edward in Elgin Tuesday.
Facing a St. Edward squad with no starters taller than 6-foot-1, 6-6 junior Kevin Czyzewski and 6-4 senior guard Enes Prijic could not be stopped.
Prijic scored 13 of his season-high 23 points in the first half, punctuated by a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the Rebels a 37-23 halftime lead.
Czyzewski drop stepped and head faked his way to a game-best 25 points, 15 in the second half. He grabbed 12 of his team's 32 rebounds and sank a pair of 3-pointers.
"Kevin and I saw the size advantage and we just wanted to take over," Prijic said.
Ridgewood won the rebounding battle 17-8 in the first half.
St. Edward first-year coach Andy Zielinski said his team ran the offense well in the first quarter, but stopped running it in the second quarter, when the Green Wave committed 5 turnovers, took only 8 shots and were outscored 21-10.
After what Zielinski termed "a spirited halftime talk," the Green Wave outrebounded the Rebels 8-4 in the third quarter. They were able to cut a 17-point deficit to 10 on senior guard David Hill's fast-break layup, courtesy of a Jackson Godfrey assist.
St. Edward (11-11, 3-4) had a shot to cut it to 8 points at the fourth quarter outset that didn't fall. Ridgewood (8-8, 5-1) responded with a 6-0 run, capped by a transition bucket from senior guard Eric Clancy, who scored 13 points.
The Green Wave opened the season with a 9-5 record, but Tuesday's loss to the Rebels was their sixth in 8 games.
"We're struggling right now," Zielinski said. "Our kids play hard, but we're not disciplined enough at this point. In a season you crawl, you walk, you run. We went crawl to walk and now it almost feels like we're back to crawl. Instead of getting easier, it's getting harder, but it's also the competition and the teams we play.
"Our goal was to score 50 and we scored 59, but they scored 70. We were holding teams to 40. It's just been a tough stretch and we're trying to figure it out."
Sophomore guard Erik Hill had 4 assists and led St. Edward with 17 points, including 4 second-half 3-pointers. David Hill finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals, and senior guard Daniel Parks scored 14 points and had 5 rebounds.