South Elgin rallies late at Bartlett
If Olympic judges had scored Friday's Bartlett-South Elgin boys basketball game, the Storm wouldn't have scored many style points. But they might have made up for it with degree of difficulty.
The Storm won the defensive slugfest, 40-35, in Bartlett.
George Betevis nailed a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter and put the Hawks ahead 31-26. But South Elgin went on an 8-2 run over the next 5 minutes to take its first lead at 34-32.
From there, the Hawks nailed it down at the line, with Dylan Marquis making 6 straight from the stripe.
Kendis Wiley led the Storm with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks, while John Aaron Wafford added 10 points.
"At this point we'll take anything we can get," said South Elgin coach Brett Johnson. "It was a battle. Bartlett made it extremely tough on us to get any open shots, and we couldn't hit anything at all. Everything was an inside bucket for us, and that's a testament to the way they play defense.
"Down the stretch we had guys make plays, and we made free throws down the stretch and we found ways to get some key stops later in the game, and when you do that you're going to put yourself in a really good situation."
With South Elgin leading by a point and time running down, Wiley intercepted a pass under his own basket, leading to 2 Marquis free throws.
Bartlett had one final chance to tie, but an open 3-pointer rimmed out. Marquis then made 2 more from the line for the final margin.
"I've just always got to bring that intensity, be aggressive, and help my team out," Wiley said.
Betevis finished with 10 points for Bartlett. Conrad Luczynski had 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Hayden Angell had 10 rebounds to go with 5 points.
On a night when nothing came easy, Bartlett held 2 of South Elgin's more reliable scorers to a combined 6 points, but Wafford, Wiley and Marquis picked up the slack.
"If you're going to talk to me about, if I'm going to keep (Drew Cwik) and (Lane McVicar) limited to the points I held them to, and I lost the game, I'd be a little bit stunned," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "Credit to the rest of that team for stepping up in a team game and making some plays."
In winning, South Elgin shot just 29% from the field, including 0-for-12 from 3-point range. Bartlett shot a relatively sizzling 31%, but made just 5 of 10 free throws.