WW South pulls away from Larkin
The Wheaton Warrenville South basketball machine chugged into Batavia Saturday for the second varsity contest of the Jim and Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops.
The Tigers took more than a quarter to get up to speed, but they finally shifted into high gear and downed Larkin, 77-43.
"This was our 20th win and we look to keep rolling all the way until March," said Wheaton Warrenville South's Braylen Meredith, who scored a game-high 27 points. His squad has dropped only two contests all season.
The Tigers only led by two after the end of the first quarter, 12-10.
The Royals (9-13) took the lead, 13-12 in the first minute of the second quarter on Adrian York's 3-point play. The senior was fouled on an inside basket and connected on the free throw. York led Royals scorers with 12 points.
After Meredith's first 3-pointer from the top of the key put his team up 17-15, the Tigers never trailed.
"I missed my first few threes but I didn't pay any attention to that and kept on shooting," the 6-foot-6 senior said. He finished the night with six treys.
Wheaton Warrenville South closed out the half with a 17-9 run to take a 34-26 lead at halftime.
Larkin's Jakob Blakley (11 points) narrowed the margin to seven, 38-31 with a 3-pointer from the right corner at the 5:20 mark of the third quarter. But then Wheaton Warrenville South broke the game wide open, scoring 17 more points by the end of period while holding Larkin to 3 baskets.
The Tigers started the final quarter with a 55-38 lead.
"During the first nine or 10 minutes of the game we were we were a little slow, but we were good in the second-half," Tigers coach Mike Healy said. "We got a little better defensively. We also did a great job of handling pressure, making good decisions and making that extra pass."
"We weren't good enough to hold them up for long enough. It was a seven-point game midway through the third and we just fell apart," said Larkin coach Deryn Carter.
The Tigers also dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Royals 38-20.
"When they did miss some shots, we got beat on the offensive glass. I bet statistically they got 15 to 20 more shot attempts than we did," Carter said. "Our defense was scrambling, we weren't communicating."
Healy is pleased with Meredith's play on both ends of the court.
"(Braylen) has stepped up. He's been our offensive leader the last month and he is playing with confidence," said the Tigers coach. "But the good thing about him is, he's doing it on both ends. He's doing things on the defensive end, too.".
Healy also likes what he sees in senior guard Jake Vozza.
"Jake's done a lot of good things in terms of making plays you that you don't necessarily see in a stat book," said Healy. "It seemed like he was all over the place. He got us extra possessions."
Both Colin Moore and Luca Carbonaro scored in double digits for WW South. Moore tallied 12 points while Carbonaro, a sophomore, notched 11 including three treys.
The Tigers, who currently lead the DuKane Conference with an 8-0 record, return to action next Friday, hosting league rival Geneva.