Elgin starts fast vs. West Chicago, earns 1st UEC win
During football season, Elgin quarterback Jeffery Lomax was throwing passes to Xavier Bonds. On the basketball court, the two have reversed their roles.
Friday night it was Bonds finding Lomax inside for key layups as the Maroons built a 19-3 lead against West Chicago and cruised to a 58-39 Upstate Eight win at Chesbrough Field House.
Lomax finished with 16 points, as well as 10 rebounds, Bonds had 14 points and 5 assists, and DionT Rodgers added 12 points for Elgin (5-10, 1-4).
The Wildcats (2-12, 0-5) took their only lead, 3-2, on a 3-pointer by Daniel Roldan. Elgin then scored the next 17 points.
Bonds found Lomax for layups twice during the big run, and he scored twice himself. Rodgers also had 5 points during that early spurt.
"They came out and executed what we want to do against their pressure and their 1-3-1," said Elgin coach Todd Allen. "It's about these kids buying in. If they buy in, I think they can be pretty good, so that's where we're at right now."
The Wildcats answered with 9 straight to make it 19-12, and only trailed by 12 at halftime, but they could never dig out of the early hole. Elgin outscored the visitors 14-8 in the third quarter to pull away again.
Allen understandably appreciated the fast start.
"We've just got to learn to sustain that and keep that going," he said. "They kind of battled back, but that was a good start for us. That kind of set the tone."
Elgin outrebounded the visitors 30-20. The Maroons shot 50% from the field while holding West Chicago to 24%. And, in contrast to some earlier games, Elgin committed just 13 turnovers.
"We didn't come out ready to play," said West Chicago coach Bill Recchia. "And that's the first time I could say that for this team this year. Every game that we've been in this year, we've come out ready to play. We've forced the issue and we let the issue force us tonight."
West Chicago had no one in double figures until Alex Resendiz hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to finish with 10. Christian Krahenbulh added 8 points for the Wildcats.
Gio Griffin finished with 5 points and 5 rebounds for Elgin.