St. Charles North comes alive to down Danville
If the St. Charles North boys basketball team were playing a collective round of golf in the first quarter Tuesday afternoon, the players would have requested a mulligan.
"We were asleep in the first quarter," the North Stars' Max Love said.
But the North Stars' double-digit deficit after eight minutes in first-round action of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament proved to be ancient history 24 minutes of playing time afterward.
St. Charles North bulldozed Danville with a 37-point swing in advancing to the quarterfinals with a decisive 70-47 triumph.
The North Stars (7-3) will face yet another Public League behemoth in the third quarterfinal on Wednesday as top-seeded and undefeated Curie (13-0) awaits.
"It seems like it's Simeon or Curie every time (we reach the quarters)," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said.
Ethan Marlowe was the North Stars' savior -- certainly in the opening half.
The St. Charles North 6-foot-8 post was the lone player to score for his team in the quarter as Danville (6-3) opened its largest lead at the buzzer at 20-6.
"As a senior captain, you take on any responsibility," said Marlowe, who scored on an array of midrange jumpers, spin moves and jump hooks to keep St. Charles North competitive in the opening 10-plus minutes of the game.
Marlowe ultimately scored 16 of his team-high 22 points in the first two quarters.
"Danville started the game off ready to win the basketball game," Poulin said. "We just kind of showed up. We wanted to get (Marlowe) the ball in the middle of the zone. They don't have an answer for him, in my opinion."
"We weren't expecting them to come out in a zone," St. Charles North sharpshooter Love said of the Vikings' defensive approach.
"I always try to keep something in my back pocket," Danville coach Durrell Robinson said of his game plan. "(The North Stars) showed how good they can be. We made some inexperienced plays that cost us."
St. Charles North erupted for 28-second-quarter points to take a never-again-relinquished 34-27 lead into halftime.
The North Stars' deluge never wavered after halftime as 40 more would ensue.
Ned Hayes and Love had three 3-pointers each in combining for 27 points as the latter augmented his 16 points with 12 rebounds.
Marlowe had one more board to lead all players as St. Charles North also received 6 points each from Jude Love and Brady Rasso.
"We've got guys who can put the ball in the hoop," Poulin said. "We need to defend and rebound so we can play in space."
Danville could only muster 27 points after the North Stars uncharacteristically allowed 20 in the first quarter.
"We got aggressive on the boards and limited them to one shot," Marlowe said.
Martez Rhodes' game-high 23 points paced Danville.