Knights take down rival Lincoln-Way East
Updated: May 18, 2011 8:23PM
After a heartbreaking three-game loss Monday to Lincoln-Way North, Lincoln-Way Central could not win the conference title outright Wednesday in its regular-season finale.
But for the Knights, sharing the title with Lincoln-Way East sure sounds good.
Having lost to the Griffins twice previously this season in tournaments, Central dominated on the road Wednesday, winning 25-19, 25-19 in Frankfort for a share of the SouthWest Suburban Red title.
“We thought we were up (Monday), and North took it from us,” Central’s Sean Blackwood said. “We were furious, and wanted to take it back. We wanted to show East that it isn’t an automatic win on Senior Night. You’ve got to fight for it.”
Brad Foster (4 blocks) and Jake Marotta led Central (21-14, 9-2) with six kills apiece. Also contributing were Cory Carrasco (6 digs), Alex Severson (8 blocks, 3 digs) and Blackwood (5 kills).
“I think this was the best game we’ve played all year,” Central coach Joann Holverson said. “It was just a balanced game. All the components we’ve been working on, we executed well today.”
Greg Magrum’s 11 kills paced East (28-7, 9-2). Ryan Dexter had nine assists and Jake Tomaras seven digs.
Heading into regional play next week, Central showed an ability in both games to close out strong. A 5-1 run, capped by an East service error, closed the first game.
Held to a relatively quiet three kills, Blackwood took over late in Game 2. The senior outside drilled home two kills, including the game-winner to give Central a share of the conference title.
“I knew I’d get my swings,” Blackwood said. “Our team can put it away when they get the chance, and we were today. When I did get the swings, I made the most of the opportunity.”
For a disappointed East squad, coach Kris Fiore hopes the loss serves as a wake-up call before regionals.
“I don’t know if we underestimated them, but we could never pass the ball up to the net,” Fiore said. “If we’re going to lose, I’m happy it happened now. Maybe it will put us in our place, and we can refocus.”