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Immaculate Conception turned up the pressure and that turned a close game into a 71-47 blowout over host Guerin Friday in River Grove.
The Knights (16-4, 1-6 Suburban Christian Gold) were knotted at 12-12 with the Gators until senior Demetrius Carr (21 points) and freshman Rhashaun Epting (11 points, six rebounds) took over. The tandem scored 15 and seven points, respectively, in the second quarter, giving the Knights a 38-20 halftime advantage.
“I thought the defensive intensity with our pressure was the key to this win,” IC head coach T.J. Tyrell said. “We created a lot of offense from our defense, and it really opened things up for us from that standpoint. That's really one of our calling cards — being able to pressure teams, force turnovers and get the transition buckets, which I thought we did really well.”
Guerin (5-12, 0-7) tried to get back in the game in the second half behind junior Gavin Byrne (10 rebounds), who netted eight of his team-high 12 points in the third quarter, but the Gators never got the Knights lead under 13 points as each squad scored 15 points in the period.
“Turnovers were a big problem for us,” Guerin head coach Marcus Green acknowledged. “We didn't take care of the basketball. We didn't effectively get into our press breaks, so we were throwing the passes they wanted us to throw instead of the ones we want to and they were taking them and scoring layups or attacking the basket and getting fouled. Their two kids (Carr and Epting) by themselves outscored us as a team (22-20) in the second quarter by halftime. That's a compliment to them, they turned up their press, kept after it and got results.”
Clark Brinkman added 17 points for IC, while Sean Sutton chipped in 11. Dan Siman scored nine for Guerin.