Boys Basketball: Devonte Everett’s efforts lead South Elgin past Elk Grove
Updated: November 26, 2011 8:50PM
With chances of a win looking grim, South Elgin put the ball in Devonte Everett’s hands.
What had been a 12-point lead for the Storm had dwindled to one when Everett went to the foul line for a one-and-one with 1:28 remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s game against Elk Grove. The senior guard calmly sank both free throws to give his team a 42-39 lead and South Elgin (3-1) held on for a 46-42 victory to clinch second place in the Fenton Tournament.
“[I wanted to] just take my time and hit the free throws like we do in practice,” Everett said. “We practice that kind of stuff all the time. I just took a deep breath and just took the free throws.”
After Elk Grove (1-3) turned the ball over on the next possession, guard Jacob Maestranzi sank both ends of a one-and-one with :50.2 left to make it 44-39 and the Grenadiers never got closer than three points after that. Everett, who scored all five of his points in the fourth quarter, capped the scoring with another foul shot with:13.9 to go.
The game started out one-sided as the Storm burst out to a 13-1 lead early in the second quarter. Elk Grove missed all seven shots, including three layups, from the floor and was 1-for-6 from the line in the first quarter before Austin Amann scored the Grenadiers’ first bucket 29 seconds into the second quarter.
But the Grens slowly chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to 27-19 at halftime and 35-28 after three quarters. A bucket by Matthew Downing gave the Storm a 40-32 cushion with 3:49 to play in the fourth, but Elk Grove scored the next seven, pulling within a point on two free throws by Brian Kelly.
“Give all the credit to Elk Grove,” South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. “We told our guys that it’s always going to be close because they play hard on every possession, so you’re always going to have your work cut out for you on every single shot.
“We just made too many turnovers in the second half and I think they had 12 offensive rebounds in the second half. We’ve got four guards out there and we’ve got to take better care of the basketball.”
“We didn’t take care of the ball like we should have,” he said. “We were playing good defense initially but we just have to finish out possessions, finish it with a rebound. We pulled it out in the end.”
Maestranzi led South Elgin with 12 points, while Willy Gagic added 10 points and Darius Wells had eight.
Amann tallied 16 points and six rebounds to lead Elk Grove, while Kelly scored seven of his 10 points in the second half and added six boards.
“We definitely believe we can win,” Elk Grove coach Anthony Furman said. “We just have to have that mentality from the get-go. It’s got to be a full game.”