Larkin's fast start keys win over South Elgin

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/21/2022 10:56 PM

After a big win at Bartlett Tuesday, you might think Larkin would start slow against South Elgin Friday night.

That didn't happen.


Propelled by a 10-1 start, the host Royals were able to defeat the pesky Storm 72-62 in Upstate Eight Conference action.

"We didn't have a hangover from the Bartlett game," said Larkin coach Deryn Carter. "We had a lot of energy to start the game. We wish we would have better sustained effort. We have a lot of work to do."

Making 4 of their first 5 shots, the Royals (20-2, 11-0) held a 9-point lead with 5:33 left in the initial quarter. Fernando Perez scored 7 points including a 3-pointer during the Royals' early run.

Larkin's biggest lead during the first 8 minutes was 18-4 after a layup by Jamarion Stubbs off an perfect bounce pass by Perez with 2:22 left.

Paced by 16 first-half points from Drew Cwik including a trey, the Storm (11-12, 7-4) got to within 40-30 at the half.

The Storm scored the first 4 points of the second half on a pair of driving layups by Josh Genz, closing within 40-34 with 6:43 left.

South Elgin couldn't get any closer.

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Larkin seized control of the game with a 7-0 run led by a 3 from Perez and baskets by Stubbs and Jakob Blakley. After a Perez 3-pointer the Royals led 47-34 with 4:11 remaining.

Larkin's biggest lead was 58-41 with 6 minutes left after a 15-footer from Damari Wheeler-Thomas.

Wheeler-Thomas led the winners with 22 points while Stubbs scored 14.

"As a team we didn't want to have a letdown after the big win at Bartlett," said Stubbs. "We take every game as a conference championship game, We have played together a long time and have a great bond and friendship. We are all accountable for each other."

Perez added 13 points with two 3s and 5 assists.

Cwik kept the Storm in the game with 29 points with a pair of 3s.

"Drew had a good game," said South Elgin coach Brett Johnson. "He executed his role."

Genz added 14 for the Storm.

"I know there is good effort in these kids," said Johnson. "We played even after their 10-1 start. We need to execute better."

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