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Elgin's Arie Williams puts up a three-pointer Saturday against Streamwood. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
After a rough first half for both teams offensively, Elgin found its rhythm in the second half to pull away from Streamwood with a 51-37 Upstate Eight River victory Saturday. The Maroons snapped a four-game skid with the win.
The two teams shot a combined 10-of-32 in the first half, as Streamwood (9-16, 1-8) committed 12 turnovers. Elgin (10-10, 2-6) wasn't far behind with 11 turnovers.
A three-pointer by Streamwood’s Ryan Dichoso midway through the third quarter cut the Maroons' lead to 23-20. That marked the closest the game had been since Elgin scored the opening basket.
Elgin had an answer though, as a Malik Parham-Dunner lay-up was following by back-to-back three-pointers from Isaiah Butler, and the Maroons lead was quickly back to 11.
The Sabres hung around the whole way, but they would never cut the deficit below nine as the Maroons came away with their first win since December 28.
“We were on a four-game losing streak, but we’ve defended our butts off in every one of those games,” said Elgin coach Mike Sitter. “Defense is there. If we can find consistent offense like we did in the second half [tonight], we’ll be tough to beat down the stretch.”
After seeing York and Geneva consistently double Maroons star Arie Williams and hold him to 10 points in each of those contests, the Sabres employed a similar tactic. It worked to a point, as Williams managed just five shot attempts on the night.
However, he connected on three-pointers with two of those shot attempts and still managed a game-high 19 points thanks to a 13-of-14 night at the free-throw line.
“If they’re going to foul me, they’re going to foul me and I’ll take what I can get at the line,” said Williams. “I thought we had a good defensive effort all-around tonight and that’s really something that we have to lean on every game, but especially when the offense isn’t going.”
Butler joined Williams in double-figures, scoring all 14 of his points in the second half and helping get the Elgin offense going. In total, nine Maroons players saw significant minutes, as Sitter looks for anyone and everyone to step in as a second scoring option.
“It can be any guy on any given night, but there has to be at least one person every night to step up and take some offensive pressure off of Arie,” Sitter said. “We had some guys do that tonight, which was good.”
On the other side of things, it was a tough night all-around for the Sabres offensively, as they shot just 14-of-41 from the floor and were never able to get in any sort of rhythm.
“Elgin just played tougher than we did defensively, and we didn’t do anything offensively all night,” said Streamwood coach Tim Jones. “I thought we looked good on offense against St. Charles East the other night, but we were just out of sync.”
Jacob Siewert led the Sabres with 10 points. Joel Lightbourne added five points, seven rebounds and three blocks.