Buffalo Grove's pressure gets to Schaumburg
Solid defense turned into a solid win for Buffalo Grove Tuesday.
The Bison forced 20 turnovers and hit key fee throws at the end to beat Schaumburg 41-35 in a nonconference game in Buffalo Grove.
"It was a rough stretch for us," first-year Buffalo Grove coach Kevin Geldon said. "I am obviously proud of the guys to continue to battle through it. Then they come out here tonight and make winning plays. Hopefully, this can kick start us again as we head into the regionals."
Buffalo Grove (9-14) had its losses pile up.
First, the Bison lost a pair of starters to season-ending injuries. Then Buffalo Grove found itself mired in a six-game losing streak.
But that winning feeling started coming back in the first six minutes of the game. That's when the Bison forced six Schaumburg turnovers. Buffalo Grove also knocked down 4-of-5 shots, including three from outside the arc to build an 11-2 lead.
"We have to get out to those starts," said Connor Woodin, who would finish with 11 points for the Bison.
"Everyone knows we struggle on offense. So we have to play our hardest on defense. We need to get steals. Get turnovers. Those turn into buckets early."
Unfortunately for Buffalo Grove, that hot shooting cooled like it was put in a freezer. The Bison would go on to convert 4-of-21 through the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Schaumburg (9-13) found its footing.
The Saxons began to take better care of the ball and chip away at the lead.
Schaumburg trailed 21-16 early in the third quarter. Led by Clark Easley, Matthias Mackrie and Jordan Tunis, the Saxons scored seven unanswered points. They pull ahead 23-21 on a driving basket by Mackrie with three minutes left in the quarter.
The teams then traded leads and were tied at 28 midway through the fourth quarter. A basket by Woodin and a three-pointer by Lucas Anam-Ndu make it 33-28 with 3:52 left.
"I was just trying to stay composed and stay control under pressure," said Anam-Ndu, who would knock down a quarter of three-pointers in the game.
"I always like hitting shots. Whenever we can get our open shots and have good shot selection that is good for us."
Schaumburg would cut the lead to 33-30 with 2:54 left on a pair of free throws by Easley.
Free throws were then the difference. Buffalo Grove converted 7-of-10 down the stretch with Woodin, Kyle Grote and Cayden Krida all contributing from the line.
Schaumburg again had difficulty taking care of the ball down the stretch. The Saxons tuned it over three times. That coupled with Buffalo Grove's free-throw shooting was the difference at the end.
"We ran out of gas," Schaumburg coach Jason Tucker said. "We weren't mentally or physically prepared. We told them that BG was going to play hard and tough and press. We got sped up. We can't turn the ball over like that. It has been the story of our year."
Easley led Schaumburg with 11 points while Mackrie and Tunis each had seven.
Anam-Ndu led Buffalo Grove with 16 points while Grote chipped in five points and Jack Bank had three points and eight rebounds.
"It was a great start for us," Geldon said. "We came out with a lot of energy. Those turnovers led to some pretty good looks for us. Then to come out in the fourth quarter and execute down the stretch and take care of the basketball was big for us."