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Basketball coaches and scorers are fond of the saying, “shooters shoot.”
The problem for St. Charles East through most of Thursday night’s Upstate Eight River home game with Streamwood was the shooters didn’t make it when they shot. However, they did keep shooting and finally Dom Adducci and Jake Asquini couldn’t miss in the fourth quarter of a 58-51 comeback victory.
“These guys know I’m not going to take them out for missing a shot,” Saints coach Patrick Woods said. “I’ll get on them if they take a really bad shot. But a shooter can’t be afraid to shoot.
“Once we got one (down), the floodgates kind of opened.”
The win set up the Saints, who are without star Kendall Stephens for the rest of the year following Tuesday’s shoulder surgery, for a home showdown Friday against Geneva pitting two teams tied for first in the loss column in the UEC River standings with Larkin.
Adducci scored 24 points, 17 of them in the second half when he hit three three-pointers, while Asquini struck for all 11 of his points in the final 9:30 of the game, including three three-pointers. Asquini’s three-pointer with 1:30 left in the third quarter might have been the biggest one not just because it pulled the Saints within 37-35 going into the fourth, but because he’d been shut out to that point.
“Once the first one goes in, I feel more confident about my shot, and I was starting to lose my confidence,” Asquini said about the first half. “But after the first one went in, it was better.”
In the fourth quarter, the Saints went on a 20-6 run over the first four minutes, when they hit all three of their fourth-quarter three-pointers. David Mason tied the game with a 17-footer, then Asquini nailed a trey after a blocked shot. Following a bucket by Streamwood’s Joel Lightbourne (11 points), the Saints’ Cole Gentry banked in a shot, then Asquini drilled another three-pointer following a missed one-and-bonus attempts by Streamwood.
The Saints (12-7, 5-2) then scored seven quick points when Adducci made a trey after a missed foul shot, and Asquini stole the ball and made a layup. Ben Skoog’s layup completed an 8-0 run for a 55-43 lead.
“I thought we had a tremendous effort,” Streamwood coach Tim Jones said. “If I could say two words, it’s team rebounding. They’re a three-point shooting team, they’re going to make some. But when you get deep shots with deep rebounds you’ve got to have those. That’s when your guards have to be there.”
The Sabres (9-14, 1-7) were the hot team the first half, hitting 11-of-17 from the floor. But in the second half they were held to 10-of-26 from the floor. Jacob Siewert led Streamwood with 13 points, with 10 coming in the second half. But the Saints limited 6-foot-9 Zack Harris to just four second-half points and 10 for the game.
“Our defense adjusted better on rotations,” Woods said. “We worked better on the inside.”
ST. CHARLES EAST 58, STREAMWOOD 51
Streamwood (8-15, 1-7)
Siewert 5 0-0 13, Lightbourne 5 3-6 13, Harris 5 0-0 10, Strong 4 0-2 9, Dichoso 1 0-0 3, Seger 1 1-2 3, Norman 0 0-1 0. Totals 21 4-11 51.
St. Charles East (12-7, 5-2)
Adduci 9 2-2 24, Asquini 4 0-0 11, Windau 3 3-4 9, Mason 2 02 4, McQuillian 1 0-0 3, Gentry 1 1-2 3, Griffiths 1 0-0 2, Skoog 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 6-10 58.
Streamwood 12 14 11 14 -- 51
St. Charles East 14 8 13 23 -- 58
Three-point goals -- Streamwood: 5 (Siewert 3, Strong, Dichoso). SCE: 8 (Adduci 4, Asquini 3, McQuillian). Fouled out -- Streamwood: Norman. SCE: None.