St. Edward's Adrian Ponce goes up for a slam dunk during Tuesday's game against Guerin in River Grove. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~For Sun-Times Media
It was a tale of two halves for visiting St. Edward, as the Green Wave rallied after a slow first half to claim a 61-50 victory over Guerin on Tuesday night in River Grove.
The Gators (1-5, 0-2 Suburban Christian Gold) opened the game on fire, as they shot 9-of-16 from the field in the first quarter, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc and built a 25-15 lead. Ricky Santiago connected on all three of his three-point attempts in the quarter to lead the charge.
The Gators extended their lead to 37-26 heading into halftime as the Green Wave (9-2, 2-1) entered the break just 9-of-27 from the field.
Fortunes quickly reversed in the second half, though, as the Wave stepped up defensively and got a number of easy buckets as a result.
“Turnovers let them back in the ballgame,” said Guerin coach Marcus Green. “Our outside shooting went away there after the first quarter, but we kept taking it and didn’t look to work it inside enough.”
The Wave outscored the Gators 14-4 in the third quarter, as it trimmed the deficit to just one and appeared to have control of the game.
“Normally we like to run, but we slowed things down a little in the second half and played a little more man-to-man, and that got us some turnovers,” said St. Edward coach P.J. White. “You have to give credit to Guerin. They worked really hard, but give credit to our kids too because they didn’t quit.”
A 6-0 run to open the fourth quarter built the Gators lead back up to seven, but the Wave took charge from there and took its first lead since it was 8-6 in the first quarter on a pair of Nick Duffy free throws with 2:21 to play.
That made things 48-47, and the Wave didn’t look back from there as it closed the game on a 13-3 run to come away with the double-digit victory.
John Butzow led the way for the Wave with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, with nine of those points coming in the decisive fourth quarter.
“John started the game, but he’s really more of a backup in that we usually bring Davontae (Elam) in off the bench to be a spark for us and he ends up getting more minutes,” said White.
“Tonight (Davontae) wasn’t on, so John was able to come back in and make some shots, play some good defense, and really have a nice game for us all-around.”
Danny Favela joined him in double figures with 13 points for the Wave, while Adrian Ponce added nine points and 11 rebounds. Elam finished with just four points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Joe Binkowski led the Gators with 13 points, while Santiago added 12 and Michael Marra and Anthony Marra each chipped in eight.
ST. EDWARD 61, GUERIN 50
St. Edward (9-2, 2-1)
Domel 1 4-5 6, Butzow 7 4-5 19, Duffy 2 4-7 8, Ponce 3 3-4 9, Favela 5 3-4 13, Elam 1 2-3 4, Danner 1 0-0 2, Totals 20 20-28 61.
Guerin (1-5, 0-2)
Santiago 4 0-0 12, Binkowski 4 3-6 13, Byrne 0 0-1 0, A. Marra 3 2-2 8, Kross 2 1-1 5, Wills 0 0-1 0, Siman 1 2-2 4, M. Marra 2 2-2 8, Totals 17 10-15 50.
St. Edward 15 11 14 21 -- 61
Guerin 25 12 4 9 -- 50
Three-point goals: St. Edward (1) – Butzow 1. Guerin (6): Santiago 4, M. Marra 2. Fouled Out: None.