Larkin locks down Elgin in lopsided win

  • Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) drives to the basket as Larkin's Damari Wheeler-Thomas (10) goes for the block Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) drives to the basket as Larkin's Damari Wheeler-Thomas (10) goes for the block Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Darien Jackson (00) splits Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) and Fernando Perez Jr (1) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Darien Jackson (00) splits Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) and Fernando Perez Jr (1) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Giovoni Griffin (30) moves the ball up court at Larkin's Dj Jones (11) puts on some pressure Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Giovoni Griffin (30) moves the ball up court at Larkin's Dj Jones (11) puts on some pressure Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) splits Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) and Giovoni Griffin (30) after pulling down a rebound Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) splits Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) and Giovoni Griffin (30) after pulling down a rebound Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) and Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) sandwich Elgin's Emmanuel Hernandez (24) on the way to the hoop Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) and Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) sandwich Elgin's Emmanuel Hernandez (24) on the way to the hoop Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Jamarion Stubbs (5) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Jamarion Stubbs (5) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) goes to the hoop Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) goes to the hoop Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's DionT Rodgers (4) drives to the basket as Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) tries to get the charging call Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's DionT Rodgers (4) drives to the basket as Larkin's Xavier Juarez, (32) tries to get the charging call Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's head coach Deryn Carter Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's head coach Deryn Carter Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) and Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) battle at the hoop Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) and Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) battle at the hoop Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Emmanuel Hernandez (24) moves up courts as Larkin's (2) puts on the pressure Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Emmanuel Hernandez (24) moves up courts as Larkin's (2) puts on the pressure Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Giovoni Griffin (30) tries to get around Larkin's Fernando Perez Jr (1) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Giovoni Griffin (30) tries to get around Larkin's Fernando Perez Jr (1) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Damari Wheeler-Thomas (10) goes to the hoop as Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) gets a block and a foul Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Damari Wheeler-Thomas (10) goes to the hoop as Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) gets a block and a foul Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Fernando Perez Jr (1) gets in Elgin's Emmanuel Hernandez's (24) space while playing defense Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Fernando Perez Jr (1) gets in Elgin's Emmanuel Hernandez's (24) space while playing defense Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) heads to the basket past Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) and Christopher Toolsie (15) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) heads to the basket past Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) and Christopher Toolsie (15) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Darien Jackson (00) looks for an open teammate as Larkin's Damari Wheeler-Thomas (10) and Dj Jones (11) surround him Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Darien Jackson (00) looks for an open teammate as Larkin's Damari Wheeler-Thomas (10) and Dj Jones (11) surround him Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Jamarion Stubbs (5) and Elgin's DionT Rodgers (4) battle at the basket Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Larkin's Jamarion Stubbs (5) and Elgin's DionT Rodgers (4) battle at the basket Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) tries to get to Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin.

      Elgin's Jeffery Lomax (1) tries to get to Larkin's Jashon Johnson-Neals (21) Friday during the crosstown game in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/7/2020 11:02 PM

Not in the modern history of the Elgin-Larkin series has either team played defense as effectively as the Royals in a 68-31 home victory Friday.

The Upstate Eight Conference game was tied 12-12 after one quarter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Then Larkin (6-17, 6-7) focused in and locked down.

The Royals limited Elgin (5-18, 1-12) to 2 second-quarter points and never looked back. They held the Maroons to a field-goal in 9 attempts, forced 5 turnovers and won the rebounding battle 11-8 to forge a 29-14 halftime lead.

"We weren't helping on D," Larkin senior Jashon Johnson-Neals said of the first quarter issues. "We thought we could play (man-to-man) one on one so they were scoring inside."

Said Larkin coach Deryn Carter: "We told them at the end of the first quarter that we were on our own agenda instead of worrying about what we need to do as a team to be successful. I was proud of the way they responded."

Elgin's 31 points represent the lowest scoring total for either team in series records dating back to 1990. The 37-point victory margin is also the largest for either team over that span.

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"They didn't do anything we thought was special. It's completely on us," Elgin coach Todd Allen said after his team committed 18 turnovers and shot 28% from the field (12 of 43). "Executing has kind of been our problem. It's frustrating because there are spurts when these guys are really, really good. We're just having a hard time putting it together right now."

Ten Royals scored, led by Johnson-Neals and sophomore Jamarion Stubbs with 16 points apiece.

"I was trying to attack, make plays for my team, look for the open guy, look for open shots and play good defense," said Stubbs, who sank three 3-pointers off the bench.

Sophomore Fernando Perez Jr scored 9 of his 15 points in the third quarter as the Royals outscored Elgin 25-12 to build a 54-26 cushion.

No Maroon breached double-figure scoring. Junior Jeffery Lomax finished with 7 points on 3-of-11 shooting, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The win was the third straight for Larkin against Elgin. The Royals won for the 18th time in 19 meetings to trim the all-time series deficit to 80-59.

More importantly, Larkin has won 5 of its last 8 games following a 1-14 start.

"We've got our players and we are a stronger team now," Johnson-Neals said. "I wouldn't overlook us."

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