Bartlett knocks off South Elgin to reach 20 wins
Bartlett's Conrad Luczynski was honored before Friday night's game against South Elgin for hitting the 1,000-point mark in his varsity career last Tuesday. But his teammates stole the limelight during the Upstate Eight contest for a 72-55 win.
Earlier in the evening, South Elgin's Caroline Croft also went over the 1,000-point mark in the girls varsity contest, a 56-35 Storm victory.
"I was glad to finally make it," Croft said of reaching the 1,000-point milestone. "Now we can concentrate on the rest of the regular season and the postseason,"
Bartlett's Jacob Magnanao fired up both his teammates and the home crowd with a 3-point basket just seconds into the contest. The trey started a 10-0 run that gave Bartlett a comfortable 19-5 lead after the first quarter. Luczynski scored eight of his team-high 21 points in the frame.
"Jacob hitting that three to start the game was huge," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "And then you establish Conrad down low, and he went to work."
"A slow start, shots didn't go in early, and we didn't find energy." South Elgin coach Brett Johnson said. "That hurts in games where we have struggled."
Jesse Singh came off the Bartlett (20-6, 12-2) bench in the second quarter for Luczynski after the 7-foot-3 senior was whistled for his second foul and kept the Hawks in the game. Although South Elgin (13-13, 9-5) pulled within 26-16 on Elias Cole-Williams' free throws, Bartlett end the half with a 9-2 run for a 35-18 advantage at the intermission.
"A critical part of the game was in the second quarter when Conrad sat. We benched him five and a half minutes in, and I was thinking, OK here comes there run because now suddenly we are undersized," Wolfsmith said.
"Unappreciated, not by us, is Jesse Singh who game in for Conrad, throwing the ball around and finding the open man. The guards and Jesse did such a great job on the floor that we got through the second quarter with the lead not cut down to 7 or 8," the Bartlett coach said. "Singh did a phenomenal job in that second period."
"We got Conrad out of the game but weren't able to take advantage of it," Johnson said.
Kelton McEwen had the unenviable job of guarding South Elgin's Drew Cwik. Although the South Elgin senior scored 21 points, including four 3-pointers, McEwen did not make easy for Cwik.
"Our focus was to make Drew work for his shots, and he did," said Wolfsmith. "What a great job Kelton did on Drew. He was limited to outside shots"
The Hawks outscored South Elgin 19-14 in the third quarter to have a 22-point advantage to start the last period up 54-32.
In addition to Luczynski, three other Hawks hit double digits. Ian Smith scored 17 points and both McEwen and Marty McCarthy tallied 11.
"My teammates were getting me open, and I was hitting shots which boosted my confidence," Smith said.
Josh Genz scored 10 for the Storm.