Boys Basketball: South Elgin opens season with victory over Fenton
Updated: November 22, 2011 11:33PM
The transition from distributor to scorer can trip you up, but Jake Maestranzi hit the ground running on Tuesday night.
South Elgin’s third-year starting point guard led all scorers with 17 points in the Storm’s season-opening 57-44 win over the host team in a first-round game of Fenton’s 26th annual Chuck Mitchell Thanksgiving Tournament.
The junior Maestranzi averaged 7.9 points per game last year and he knows he’ll be carrying more of the offensive load with the departure of four starters from last year’s 16-13 team.
“I’m starting to get used to it,” Maestranzi said. “Before I was more of a passing point guard, but now I have to shoot a little bit more. But I still want to find the open guy.”
Storm coach Chaz Taft was pleased to see Maestranzi bury a trio of three-pointers and bury four free throws to help ice the game down the stretch.
“For us to be in a spot to win, he’s going to have to shoot more and he’s gradually stepping up and doing what we need for him to do,” Taft said.
The Storm (1-0) led 18-13 over Fenton (0-2) after a quarter, with senior Willy Gagic scoring seven of his nine points on the day for South Elgin. Storm senior Eric Stazy hit a pair of treys just before halftime in helping his side to a 29-24 lead at the break.
A three-point play from junior Krystopheroy Fojas and a trey from senior Devonte Everett late in the third quarter gave the Storm a 44-34 lead heading into the final quarter, and Taft’s troops held Fenton off the rest of the way.
Season openers always feature some good and bad, and Maestranzi knows where the work has to come.
“We came out rusty, we have a lot of new guys, and we need to work on our defense,” Maestranzi said. “Last year we had a lot of defensive intensity and that’s what (Taft) preaches from day one — defense, defense, defense.”