CL South's quick start too much for Larkin
Crystal Lake South came out so hard and fast that it pretty much decided the outcome against Larkin in the first 3:08.
Zach Peltz scored on an alley-oop play, Cameron Miller drove for a layup, then Peltz and Aj Demirov hit 3-pointers, with Demirov's coming after several offensive rebounds.
It was a dizzying start. The Gators had a word for it.
"It's so electric," Peltz said. "Me and my brothers out there just hooping and getting so hyped. It's so fun. I love it."
The Gators rolled to a 57-35 victory over Larkin in their quarterfinal game at Jacobs' Hinkle Holiday Classic on Wednesday. South (11-3) will meet Hoffman Estates (8-4) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the second semifinal.
"That's electric. That really gets us going," Miller said. "The energy's good and a lot of momentum going out there. We knew they were going to press, we had to come out with a fire and that's what we did."
South jumped ahead 12-0 before the Royals (5-6) got on the scoreboard. The Gators led 23-6 after the first quarter.
"We didn't put up much of a fight," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "They had one possession early where they missed four shots and then hit a 3. We're not a very good basketball team, but if you give us five shots a possession, we'll probably make one.
"We just weren't tough enough, we weren't anything enough today. Hat's off to them, they were playing well. They were feeling good about themselves, as they should have been."
South outrebounded the Royals 43-27 and grabbed 16 offensive boards. Demirov scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter, Peltz finished with 14. Demirov and Miller each grabbed eight rebounds.
"Our guys were ready to play," Gators coach Matt LePage said. "We had a really good walk-through and felt good about our prep. With the experienced group we have these one-day scenarios they're good.
"Zach got us off to a great start. We thought they were going to be kind of swarmy on our drives, so we wanted to kick for 3s. Zach made one, Cam made one, then AJ got rolling."
Joshua Hibbett and Armani Ivy led Larkin with six points each.
"Just go in and watch film and get ready for the next game," Miller said. "We know what we have to do to get to the 'ship. (Hoffman Estates) is a good team, we have to come out with that same fire we came out with this game."