Wheaton North can't keep up with St. Charles East
Not much has fazed the St. Charles East boys basketball team this season.
It seems as though coach Pat Woods has prepared the Saints for all scenarios.
So when Wheaton North started Friday night by making six of its first nine 3-point baskets, there was no panic.
The Saints trusted their process and eventually wore down Wheaton North for an 80-73 victory in DuKane Conference play.
A process of 32-minute, constant pressure prevailed once again as Wheaton North made seven 3-pointers over the final three quarters combined.
"I think we trust our process each and every night," said Zack Clodi, who led St. Charles East with 16 points. "I think we know teams are going to start like that, but we know the way we play will eventually make teams tired. When they get tired they miss shots and that's when we take advantage."
Clodi and the Saints trailed 26-19 after one quarter after four Falcons knocked down perimeter jumpers. But separate runs for 9 straight and 12 straight points during the second quarter allowed St. Charles East (21-7, 11-2) to take a 3-point advantage into halftime.
Woods said he's almost willing to give up the open looks early, due to his team's trap rotations, because the law of averages says most teams cannot keep the Saints' pace up for 32 minutes. After turning the ball over 10 times in the first quarter, the Saints committed just five over the final three quarters.
"I think that has happened a lot throughout this season," Woods said of the Falcons' hot start against his group. "These kids have bought into what we want to accomplish and I really don't think anything rattles them. Credit Wheaton North for a great game and knocking down all of those shots, but I think we managed the game very well tonight."
"(St. Charles East) is so unique to play against because they make you play their game," Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann added. "But that's the only way to have a chance to beat them. They will not let you slow it down for a minute. We told our kids if you have an open look to take it. I thought we executed great all night, but we just couldn't get stops. They are so deep and their guards are so good. There's nothing for our kids to feel down about. That's a fantastic team over there."
Another telling tale of a successful Saints season thus far has been different players providing strong minutes every night. While a lot has been said throughout the year on senior Chase Monkemeyer, Friday night it was Joe Musial's turn.
The 6-foot junior guard scored 12 points off the bench, 6 of which came in the 12-0 second-quarter run that got St. Charles East back into the game. Despite the game being tied twice in the third quarter, the Falcons (15-13, 5-8) never led after that half-ending run by St. Charles East.
Though Musial isn't ever sure exactly when he'll enter the game on a given night, he knows his job is to provide energy every second he sees the court.
"I just come in and try to play my game. It's really nothing more than that," Musial said. "It really doesn't matter when I come in. I just try to do what I'm able to do and help my team however I can each night."
Starting point guard Luke Matheny and Monkemeyer also gave the Saints a boost in the win. Ten Saints scored and 11 total St. Charles East players saw the court in Friday's victory.
Brackmann like the compete level from start to finish from his group. However, Emmanuel Wilson, who scored a game-high 19 points, and Garrett Horner's nights were spoiled, as the Saints depth struck once again.