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Oswego High School's Elliott McGaughy, connects on a running jump shot over Plainfield Central's Duvaun Goodlow, on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at Oswego High School in Oswego IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
On a night rhythm and flow were no-shows on the basketball court, Oswego’s 63-53 win over a pesky Plainfield Central team was anything but smooth sailing.
“The game itself was just choppy and we were part of that because we were just sloppy,” said Oswego coach Kevin Schnable, whose team climbed to 12-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in Southwest Prairie Conference play in its first game since New Year’s Eve night.
The host Panthers led 28-25 at the half but it seemed like it should have been more considering the Wildcats (6-7 and 1-3) turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter and eight more in the second.
No. 9 Oswego’s talented senior guard duo of 6-foot-2 Elliott McGaughy and 6-1 Miles Simelton had a decided height advantage over counterparts, 5-7 Curtis Harrington and 5-8 Mitch Young (15 points).
McGaughy, who finished with a game-high 23 points, took advantage with post up moves that helped him score 10 in the first quarter.
Simelton was just 2 of 9 from the floor in the first half, though, but erupted for three 3-pointers in the third quarter to highlight a 10-2 run that helped the home team seize control.
Simelton finished with 22 points and Darion Reddick would add 12.
“They played better and much more aggressive than we did,” continued Schnable, “as evidenced by the difference in free throws -they shot 28 and we shot eight -- and the fact they out-rebounded us. I’m not pleased with that.”
Despite turning the ball over 26 times in the game, the visiting Wildcats claimed a 37-29 advantage on the boards. They got 11 from Duvaun Goodlow (12 points) and nine from Logan Vasquez (11 points).
“Against a real good team like that, you can’t give up stretches of 6-0 and 8-0 runs,” said Central coach Steve Lamberti. “We did that early in the second quarter and again in the third.
“Our guys battled and were doing what they were asked to do. We’re just a possession or two from knocking off a good team. We played hard and we thought we forced them into some tough shots. I can’t criticize our defense.”
McGaughy and Simelton each added a three-pointer apiece in the fourth quarter to seal it.
“Fortunately, we’ve got guys who can score and they bailed us out tonight. We weren’t very sharp,” said Schnable.