Boys Basketball: Balanced Larkin rolls to victory past StreamwoodLarkin's Antonio Pipes backs in against Streamwood's Joel Lightbourne on Thursday in Elgin. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 20, 2012 12:32AM
When Larkin’s first unit isn’t in top form, coach Deryn Carter knows he has plenty of capable players on the bench ready to step in and provide a spark.
That depth came in handy Thursday night as the reserves helped the Royals shake off a sluggish start in a 64-40 Upstate Eight River victory against visiting Streamwood.
Sophomore guard Derrick Streety tallied 17 points to lead the way for Larkin (10-6, 3-3), but he was the only starter to finish with more than one field goal. Eleven players entered the scoring column in total for the Royals, with junior Quentin Ruff (12 points), senior Blake Grantham (eight points) and sophomore Kendale McCullum (eight points) all making significant contributions off the bench.
“It was good that when guys came in we didn’t lose intensity and we didn’t lose effort,” Carter said. “It’s a testament to how hard some of those guys in the back end of the rotation have been working.”
Streamwood (4-14, 1-5) scored the game’s first five points, but the lead didn’t last long as standout guard Brandon Larkin-Guilfoyle picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and was charged with his third foul less than a minute into the second.
With Larkin-Guilfoyle sidelined, the Sabres had all kinds of trouble on offense as they went 8:24 without a point during a stretch in the first half. The Royals took advantage by scoring 14 straight points as they led the rest of the night.
Streamwood finished with 22 turnovers as Larkin’s ball pressure kept the Sabres from getting in any kind of rhythm. Ruff and Quantice Hunter had three steals a piece for the Royals.
“We were trying to push the ball off turnovers and get as many hands in (the passing lanes) as we could,” Streety said. “It was our main key to win the game off defense.”
The Royals pushed their lead to 44-26 by the end of the third quarter, but the Sabres scored nine straight points to start the fourth to pull within 44-35 with 6:04 left. The rally stalled there, though, as Larkin answered with 12 straight points to put the game out of reach.
Larkin-Guilfoyle and Joel Lightbourne both scored nine points to lead Streamwood, which made only 14-of-42 shots from the field.
Larkin made half of its shots, finishing 26-for-52 from the floor. McCullum, a recent call-up from the sophomore team, joins a big group of underclassmen for the Royals. Among them is sophomore starter Drew Jones, who had two points and three rebounds in his first game against his father, Streamwood coach Tim Jones.
“We got beat by a better team, but we had way too many turnovers,” Tim Jones said. “Larkin has a very good team and I have a little heart for those guys because I used to coach here and because of Drew. If we can’t beat them, I hope they win the rest of their games.”