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Dundee Crown's Cordero Person moves the ball against Dionte Washington of Michele Clark Wednesday in opening-round play of the Elgin Holiday Tournament. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Dundee-Crown used a strong start to Wednesday’s game against Clark to help continue its impressive start to the season.
The Chargers scored the first 17 points and never saw their lead dip below 11 the rest of the way as they cruised to a 68-48 win in the first round of the Elgin Tournament.
Dylan Kissack tallied 19 points to pace Dundee-Crown (8-1), which matched its best start since 2005 with the victory.
“We definitely wanted to come out and get right at it,” Kissack said. “Having the (Christmas) break, we wanted to make sure that we came out with some good intensity and got up early.”
The Chargers received a balanced effort up and down the lineup as Brandon Rodriguez scored 10 of his 12 points in the second quarter after sitting out the entire first quarter. Trent Muscat added 11 points and JT Beasley did a little bit of everything with seven points, five steals, five assists and four rebounds.
Dundee-Crown shot 27-for-49 (55.1 percent) from the field and forced 13 of Clark’s 19 turnovers in the first half.
“We really worked as a team today,” Muscat said. “I had a lot of easy layups, and that kind of transitioned over from the defensive end. I think a lot of our baskets came from the defensive side of the ball.”
The Chargers enjoyed a 40-14 advantage at halftime and led by as many as 27 in the third quarter before the Eagles started to find an offensive rhythm.
Kayvon Williams scored all 18 of his points in the second half for Clark (4-8), which outscored Dundee-Crown 34-28 over the final two quarters. Kris Claybon added 10 points for the Eagles.
Dundee-Crown advances to play Elgin in the quarterfinals at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Clark will take on F.W. Parker at 12:15 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
“I don’t think we played particularly well on the defensive end in the second half,” Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber said. “Hopefully we can correct that for tomorrow or we will not be advancing in the tournament.”