Maine West stymies Wheeling

 
By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/18/2020 10:58 PM

When Maine West's Dan Kentgen played football for the Warriors the past two seasons, he learned how to make decisions on the field. That knowledge has transformed to the basketball court.

Kentgen led a second quarter spurt that led to separation in Maine West's 51-36 nonconference win over Wheeling in Des Plaines Tuesday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kentgen, who is still uncommitted for football, produced a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists as the Warriors improved to 12-14.

"I trust Dan to make decisions on the floor," said Maine West coach Tom Prokopij. "From watching film sessions, I've gained a lot of trust in him. His peers look to him. He's likable and he's a tough kid."

At 6-foot 4, Kentgen plays outside of the lane on offense, not inside.

"Coach puts me on top because I can see over the zone defense," said Kentgen, "We have played against a lot of zone defenses and I've learned when to pass the ball to my teammates so that they are in a good position to shoot. We have good shooters and they take good shots. It makes my job easy."

"I love for Dan to shoot," said Prokopij. "When he's in rhythm, he's one of the better shooters in the area."

"Kentgen was really composed and he ran the show," said Wheeling coach Michael O'Keeffe. "He was really tough on the glass."

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"I watch for the shot, and then go to the spot where I think the ball will bounce off the rim," said Kentgen.

Jacob Reidl scored 8 of his team-high 13 points in the first quarter, and Lucas Glaister all 6 of his points as the Warriors took a 17-11 lead.

Kentgen started the second quarter with a 3-pointer and followed that with 3 free throws. Kentgen finished the quarter with another 3-pointer with 17 seconds left for a 28-17 lead for the Warriors.

Following a 3 from Riedl (9 rebounds) and a 31-17 lead, Wheeling (13-16) rallied to pull within 31-28 with 3:18 left in the third quarter.

Joe Jordan scored on an assist from Robert Bucko, and Javen Reid (6 points) followed with a 3-pointer. Christian McLaughlin, who would lead the Wildcats with 13 points, sank 6 free throws.

Wheeling would be kept off the board the rest of the quarter. Jared Pearson (12 points, 6 rebounds) connected on a 3-pointer, Sean Collins scored off a steal, and Pearson scored again to give Maine West a 38-28 lead going into the fourth quarter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Wheeling couldn't get any closer than 10 points in the final quarter.

"We had good energy coming into the third quarter when we cut it to 31-28," said O'Keeffe. "Maine West was a little tougher than us on a Tuesday night. They are better than their record."

"We stressed the importance of this game going into the sectional meeting Wednesday," said Prokopij. "They responded."

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