Glenbard East's pressure frustrates Elgin
Forcing turnovers tends to spark the Glenbard East running game.
One per minute did the trick in a 57-34 Upstate Eight win at Elgin Tuesday.
The UEC coleading Rams had already used a combination of first-half defenses -- 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones, man-to-man and full-court pressure -- to force 7 turnovers in forging a 16-point lead.
Glenbard East (11-5, 7-1) played with renewed defensive intensity in the third quarter and forced 8 more miscues in as many minutes. Multiple breakaway layups helped the Rams outscore Elgin 24-6 and take a 55-21 lead through three quarters.
"It's exciting," said senior guard Deon Cook, who scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the third quarter, mostly on breakaways. "This game was about executing and putting them away rather than letting them linger around."
Elgin (5-13, 1-7) tied the Rams 8-8 on a bank shot by senior guard DionT Rodgers with 3:18 left in the first quarter.
The Rams then broke clear with a 17-2 run fueled by 4 fast-break baskets. Cook, junior forward LaDonis Rogers and junior guard Joe Hamilton each notched transition buckets in that span.
"We just wanted them to make mistakes and play our defense the way we can play," said Hamilton, who had 5 points and 3 steals.
The Maroons were outscored 42-13 in the middle two quarters when they shot 3 of 20 from the field and 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
"Obviously, turnovers have been a big thing for us this year," first-year Elgin coach Todd Allen said. "We have to get better. I know they can make the plays. We're just not executing. It's a matter of digging down deep and finding a way."
Junior Jeffery Lomax finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds for Elgin, which played without junior guard Xavier Bonds, who did not dress. Junior Emmanuel Hernandez scored 8 fourth-quarter points off the bench.
Senior Daron Hall scored 16 points and hauled down 8 rebounds for Glenbard East. Rogers and junior forward Jack Rivas contributed 6 points apiece.
"At this point after Christmas we're just working on getting better," Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said. "I think we showed our offense is not just Daron Hall. We have a lot of guys who can shoot it."