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St. Edward's Antonio Domel lifts a three-pointer against Burlington Central on Friday in Elgin. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
Antonio Domel and his St. Edward teammates showed off a motor that simply didn’t stop Friday night.
Domel had a key steal in the fourth quarter and posted big numbers across the board as usual as the Green Wave outlasted Burlington Central for a 74-65 nonconference win in Elgin.
The triumph improves St. Edward’s record to 16-4, marking the program’s highest win total since 1998. Domel, a 5-foot-8 senior point guard, was one of five Green Wave players in double figures with 16 points to go along with six steals and four assists.
“Now teams are taking us a little more seriously,” Domel said. “Now we’ve got a target on our back as coach says, so we’ve got to continue to work.”
St. Edward built a 54-36 lead in the third quarter, but that cushion was down to 62-58 after James Raney hit a pair of free throws for the Rockets with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter.
The Green Wave couldn’t get the ball across half court following the second free throw as Burlington Central’s Reed Hunnicutt deflected a pass into the hands of teammate Moter Deng, who made a beeline to the basket. But just as Deng was about to go up for a layup, Domel swooped in and snatched the ball out of his hands.
Domel’s steal led to a transition basket for the Green Wave’s Danny Favela at the other end. Although Deng made a three-pointer on his team’s ensuing possession to pull the Rockets within 64-61, they could come no closer as St. Edward answered with a 10-2 run to put the game away.
“I’m not sure (Deng) even saw me,” Domel said. “Looking straight forward with his (6-5) height, it’s kind of hard to see 5-8. I just took it from him. I wasn’t going to let him score. After that it kind of took them out of the game.”
Deng finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and two thunderous one-handed dunks for Burlington Central (6-12). Ryan Ritchie also had 15 points while Hunnicutt added 12 and Bryce Warner tallied 11.
The balanced scoring attack wasn’t enough to help the Rockets overcome 25 turnovers, including nine in the first quarter, as they lost for the fourth time in five games.
“Our decision making and being weak with the basketball has been an Achilles heel this year,” Burlington Central coach Brett Porto said. “(St. Edward) created a lot of offense off of our offense. I think that’s what the game comes down to.”
St. Edward’s Davontae Elam matched Domel for game-high scoring honors with 16 points off the bench. Nick Duffy (12 points, 12 rebounds), Favela (11 points), Adrian Ponce (10 points) and John Butzow (nine points) also pitched in for the Green Wave.
“Our kids really played hard,” St. Edward coach P.J. White said. “We switched up our defenses a lot and tried to confuse them, and I think that helped.”
ST. EDWARD 74, BURLINGTON CENTRAL 65
Burlington Central (6-12)
Deng 6 1-5 15, Ritchie 4 3-5 15, Hunnicutt 4 4-4 12, Warner 4 3-3 11, Schutta 1 2-2 4, Raney 0 4-4 4, Harris 1 0-0 2, Barry 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 17-22 65.
St. Edward (16-4)
Domel 6 3-4 16, Elam 7 2-6 16, Duffy 3 6-8 12, Favela 4 3-4 11, Ponce 3 4-6 10, J. Butzow 3 3-4 9. Totals 26 21-32 74.
BC 16 14 17 18 -- 65
SE 20 16 22 16 -- 74
Three-point goals -- BC: 6 (Ritchie 4, Deng 2). SE: 1 (Domel). Fouled out -- BC: Warner. SE: None. Technical fouls -- BC: None. SE: Bench.