Boys Basketball: Hilltoppers cruise past LionsElgin Academy's Joey Heisley dribbles up the court against Harvest Academy on Thursday in Elgin. | Karen Naess ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 5, 2012 10:24PM
The Elgin Academy offense was firing on all cylinders Thursday night, as they blew out Harvest Christian Academy 71-44.
Four players tallied double-figures for the Hilltoppers (3-6) as they shot an impressive 48 percent (30-of-63) from the field, but it was sophomore guard Jumel Julien who stole the show.
Julien poured in a game-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, beating the Lions off the dribble and with the deep ball as he connected on three three-pointers.
“Jumel has come a long way,” said Elgin Academy coach Dewayne Robinson. “It’s all about him playing with confidence and having confidence in his shot, and he had that tonight.”
Despite the final score, the game close early on as the Lions trailed just 20-14 midway through the second quarter.
However, the Hilltoppers closed the first half on a 12-5 run and put the game out of reach with a 16-8 run to open the second half. Julien scored 14 points during that span.
It wasn’t all offense for the Hilltoppers, though, as their defense was also impressive. Elgin Academy forced the Lions into 28 turnovers for the game and just 38 percent shooting (15-of-39) from the floor.
“Our goal is to go out and give 100 percent effort on both ends of the floor, and I definitely think we did that tonight,” said Robinson.
Joining Julien in double-figures for the Hilltoppers was Conner Flexman, who had 15 points and eight rebounds. Tom Tunca added 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting Joseph Heisley finished with 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers.
“We’re doing a lot of good things right now offensively, spreading the floor well and making good cuts, getting everyone involved,” said Julien. “We just need to keep focusing on getting better as the season goes on.”
It was a frustrating night for the Lions, but they did get solid games from their two post players, as 6-foot-6 John Vislisel (17 points, 7 rebounds) and 6-foot-5 Dan Turpin (12 points, 11 rebounds) used the team’s high-low offense effectively.
In the end it was not enough as the Hilltoppers took the court for the first time since Dec. 12 and won in lopsided fashion for the second straight time.
“We told the kids at the beginning of the year that they had a 10-game barrier to come together as a group, with a new coach and some new guys, and here we are in Game 9 so hopefully this continues,” said Robinson.