South Elgin grinds out win at Bartlett
When South Elgin defeated Bartlett 66-61 in Upstate Eight Conference action in South Elgin on Jan. 13 it was an up-tempo, fast-paced game.
Friday night's rematch in Bartlett was totally a different game. It was a slow down, grind-it-out, physical contest.
The Storm proved it can win any style of game.
Despite making only 22-of-43 from the free-throw line, the Storm slipped past the Hawks 47-45.
South Elgin moves to 17-9 overall and 13-1 in UEC action.
"We are warriors," said Storm coach Phil Church. "We have the bull's-eyes on our backs right now. It was a very physical game but we were able to sneak out a win."
Victor Sison paced the winners with 22 points including three 3-pointers.
"It was a very physical tough game," said Sisson. "I was feeling my shot all night long. Coach (Church) had a great game plan. We played a zone on defense and it worked. It feels great to beat them again."
Sean Harvey, who played sparingly with a bad ankle, scored 8 points with 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for the Storm.
South Elgin entered the fourth quarter with a 38-34 lead. The Hawks tied the game at 40 on 2 free throws by Kelton McEwen and took a brief lead 41-40 on 1-of-2 free throws by Keegan Kunzer.
The big shot of the game came with 33 seconds left when Ethan Zagore drained a 3-pointer to give the Storm a 45-43 advantage. It was Zagore's only points of the game.
Sison sealed the win for the Storm with 2 free throws.
McEwen paced the Hawks with 18 points with two 3-pointers and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. Before fouling out with 1:43 left, Martin McCarthy scored 10. Plagued by fouls all night, Nathan Scearce added 9 points with 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Bartlett fell to 17-9, 10-5.
"I thought we defended well," said Bartlett coach Wolfsmith. "It was disappointing down the stretch. We missed some shots, We had good looks, It was a regional championship type game. It was a war."