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St. Charles North's Quinten Payne goes up for a dunk against South Elgin on Monday. | Michael R. Schmidt ~ For Sun-Times Media

St. Charles North was in no mood to mess around Monday.

The North Stars came out with a vengeance in their quarterfinal game against the host team at the Class 4A South Elgin Regional and had no trouble posting a 73-52 victory.

Senior Justin Stanko scored 10 of his season-high 17 points in the first quarter as St. Charles North (17-10) jumped out to a 20-4 lead. The victory sends the North Stars into a semifinal showdown against rival St. Charles East on Tuesday.

“Coach said in the locker room we need to go out 100 percent, and that’s what we did as a team,” Stanko said. “We played as hard as we could and it showed.”

South Elgin (5-23) had three freshmen in its starting lineup and was never able to recover from St. Charles North’s initial blow.

The Storm trailed by at least 10 points for the final 28 minutes of the contest and was down 65-33 midway through the fourth quarter. Freshman Matt Smith finished with a game-high 19 points for South Elgin, which ends its regular season on an 11-game losing streak.

 “It’s good experience (for the underclassmen) and hopefully it pays off in the offseason and they continue to work,” South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. “You see some strides, but once somebody gets real physical with a younger kid he just kind of goes back in his shell.

“That’s one thing you can’t teach him, you’ve got to just keep throwing him out there and letting it happen and hoping he bites back. Tonight we didn’t bite back.”

St. Charles North had 12 players enter the scoring column. Loyola recruit Quinten Payne posted 15 points and Erik Miller came off the bench to score eight. Stanko led the way on the glass with nine rebounds.

Now the North Stars can turn their attention to St. Charles East and what will be the fourth meeting between the teams this season. The Saints won the first two matchups, including an overtime affair on Jan. 18, but St. Charles North notched a 62-49 victory Feb. 2 in the most recent clash.

“It’s going to be a great experience for everybody involved,” St. Charles North Tom Poulin said. “It’s proven to be a great matchup, so I think it’s going to be one that everybody remembers tomorrow night.”


South Elgin (5-23)
Smith 7 3-4 19, Grant 4 0-0 8, Lundy 4 0-1 8, McClure 2 2-4 7, Howard 1 0-0 3, Hicks 1 0-0 3, Cager 1 0-0 2, Winsel 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 5-9 52.

St. Charles North (17-10)
Stanko 6 4-5 17, Payne 5 4-4 15, Miller 3 2-3 8, Goetz 2 2-2 7, Theile 2 1-2 6, Swanson 2 1-2 6, Neari 2 0-0 5, Ludwig 1 0-0 3, Dunteman 1 0-1 2, Preocanin 1 0-0 2, Callaghan 0 2-2 2, Hedges 0 0-1 0. Totals 25 16-22 73.

South Elgin             10     10     11     21     --     52
St. Charles North     20     18     19     16     --     73

Three-point goals -- South Elgin: 5 (Smith 2, Howard, McClure, Hicks). SCN: 7 (Goetz, Ludwig, Theile, Payne, Neari, Swanson, Stanko). Fouled out -- None.

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