Larkin blows out Glenbard East
Only fans who watched both the sophomore and varsity games Friday night between Larkin and Glenbard East saw end of the game drama.
The Rams' sophomore team rallied in the fourth quarter to tie the Royals at the end of regulation and then win it in overtime, 44-39.
The only question in the final period of the varsity contest in Elgin was: would the Royals hit triple digits? Larkin did not hit the century mark but did overwhelm its Upstate Eight Conference rival, 93-18.
"It was a special game on both ends of the court. I'm proud of our guys. Defensively, we were really, really special," said Larkin coach Deryn Carter. "I thought our ball pressure was phenomenal but even when they beat the ball pressure running some backdoor sets, we had great rotation."
The Royals' ball pressure forced 18 first half turnovers. Larkin (9-1, 5-0) led 32-4 after the first quarter and 60-6 at halftime.
"I think (the first quarter) kind of shellshocked them a little bit. They have some young guys. It's one of their first true road games," said the Larkin coach, "And we used the momentum to carry it over (to the second quarter) and it never stopped."
"We got thoroughly outplayed, out-coached, out-everything tonight," Glenbard East coach Al Biancalana said. "I just think that Elgin Larkin came out with an impressive winner's attitude, got us back on our heels and we had nobody to step up, nobody to take the fight to them. We just got back on our heels, and we took every punch that they gave us with no retort."
Carter was also pleased with the offense.
"We put it on the board all the time. I think guys were making plays for Larkin High School. They weren't making plays for themselves," he said. "It was unselfish basketball. Guys were taking shots that they should have taken and made passes that should have been passed'"
Three Royal starters hit double figures. Damari Wheeler-Thomas led all scorers with 20 points. Jakob Blakely tallied 18 followed by Fernando Perez with 16.
"Our defense played great tonight and our defense led to our offense," said Perez. "I just let the game come to me and made the shots that I could."
With Larkin holding an 81-14 advantage over Glenbard East (3-4, 3-1) after three quarters, Royal reserves saw extended playing time as all the starters were on the bench for the last eight minutes.
"I thought Wardell Harvey did a great job (off the bench) and so did Adrian Colen-York," said Carter.
Carter hopes the team will be fresh for Saturday's first game at the Hinkle Tournament at Jacobs.
"We are playing five games in 10 days, so it was good to give our starters some rest," the Larkin coach said. "Hopefully we're ready to play tomorrow."
Another one-sided contest was the best dressed person at the game. That honor easily went to Larkin band director Nicholas Lambert who was wearing a new maroon jacket covered with Santa Clauses.
"It's almost as loud as the band," Lambert said.