Boys Basketball: Elgin’s defense too much for St Charles East
Updated: December 16, 2011 10:35PM
Kory Brown and Arie Williams don’t have jaw-dropping talent. Neither player is heading to Duke or North Carolina or even the Big Ten -- but they have the intelligence and drive that makes Elgin a serious contender to advance to Peoria in March.
The Maroons suffered an early-season loss to Geneva, but Friday against visiting St. Charles East, they proved they had learned a valuable lesson from the loss.
“Coach [Mike Sitter] told us [St. Charles East] tries to score 70 every game,” Brown said. “Every person on that team has a jump shot we respect. We learned in the Geneva game that we had to focus on our defense.”
Brown, Williams and the rest of Elgin (7-1, 2-1) kept those jump shots from falling, holding the Saints scoreless for the first six minutes of the game on the way to a 55-39 victory in Upstate Eight River action.
“We were pretty excited coming in with all the hype,” Williams said. “It was our first Friday night game of the year and I think that energy helped us get out to the hot start.”
Brown, a 6-4 senior, led the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Cortez Scott added 13 points and Williams finished with 12 points and four steals.
“Stealing the ball is just my skill,” Williams, a 5-8 junior, said. “I sneak up on them. You’ve got to be quiet and approach them. I’m like a little lion.”
St. Charles East threatened to mount a late comeback after Kendall Stephens’ three-pointer with 4:52 to play cut the Elgin lead to 44-36. But Brown drove the lane and elevated for a jumper on the next possession, igniting an 8-0 run that put the game away.
Stephens, a Purdue recruit, is one of the top juniors in the country. He led the Saints (6-3, 3-1) with 17 points and four rebounds. He shot 6 of 18 from the floor and 2-for-10 from three-point range.
“We knew we had to get up and make sure we had a hand in their face at all times,” Brown said. “We practiced getting around the screens and piggybacking all week.”