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Oswego's Jack Kwiatkowksi floats in for a score in the first quarter Tuesday at Downers Grove South. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
It was same old, same old for Oswego in Tuesday’s 69-54 non-conference win over Downers Grove South.
“It was our traditional slow start,” coach Kevin Schnable said of his 12th-ranked Panthers, who spotted the Mustangs a 7-0 lead and trailed by the same margin (15-8) after a pair of Kevin Hall free throws with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Oswego’s senior guard tandem of Miles Simelton and Elliott McGaughy finished with 22 points each to lead the 6-1 visitors.
“Coach emphasizes to me and Miles to always push it and go top speed,” said McGaughy.
The visitors closed the period with a 6-2 run then opened the second with a 15-3 outburst, powered by a pair of Simelton 3-pointers and one from Darion Reddick off the bench.
“Fortunately, we have the ability to score in spurts,” continued Schnable. “We changed the outlook of the game in the second quarter.
We played at a great pace and were driving more and getting in the lane,rather than settling for 3-point shots.”
The margin was nine (36-27) at intermission . The Mustangs (4-3) closed to within 42-37 on a 10-0 third-quarter run of their own,
started by a Jordan Cannon 3-pointer and capped by a pair of Matt Zinnecker free throws.
Cannon finished with a team-high 15 points but it wasn’t enough to stop the Panthers from spoiling Downers South coach Jay Baum’s birthday.
“They’re a good team, really quick,” said Baum. “I was disappointed we didn’t handle their pressure better (20 turnovers). I think we’re better than we played tonight. ... We didn’t box out, didn’t stay in front of them.”
Simelton had 11 points in the second quarter and McGaughy had 10 in the third, when the Panthers closed the period with a 10-6 run and led 52-43 entering the final frame.
The hosts, who got 11 points from 6-foot-5 Scott McNellis, would get no closer. Robert Mara, a 6-8 center, had limited minutes due to foul trouble and was held to seven points.
Reddick finished with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Oswego, which also got eight boards from Jack Kwiatkowski and six from guard Jamaal Richardson.
“It was our speed vs. their size and we wanted to play at a faster pace,” said Schnable.
“And anytime you can get a kid (like Reddick) off the bench to score in double figures and play as well as he did, that’s the fun thing
about this team.”
Baum was left hoping for a possible rematch.
“We’re both in the tournament at Proviso West,” he said. “We could meet if we each win a pair of games. Of course, if you win the first two there you’re on a good run and you don’t care who you play next.”