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A few keys to a successful senior night are getting off to a fast start, feeding off the crowd and taking advantage of the emotions. Larkin was able to do all three Friday as the Royals defeated their rivals from Elgin 46-33.

With the game tied 6-6 midway through the first quarter, Larkin (8-14, 3-7) turned up the pressure on defense and went on a 13-3 spurt, which just about put the Maroons away.

Elgin (6-15, 1-7) was able to climb to within five points in the third quarter, but thanks to multiple second-chance scoring opportunities, Larkin went up by double figures — this time for good.

The star of stars for Larkin was Victoria Patterson. The senior guard led all scorers with 18 points.

“We knew that a fast start was going to be key and luckily we were able to do that,” Patterson said. “We had a lot of energy from the crowd and we were able to feed off that.”

Both teams played stellar defense. Each team forced 17 turnovers, Larkin held Elgin to shooting 28 percent and Elgin held Larkin to just 26 percent.

In the end, though, it was too many second and third chance scoring opportunities that allowed Larkin to pull away and win the rubber match in the season series against Elgin.

“I thought the defense was key,” Larkin coach Ruben Flores said. “The girls were very excited for senior night and had a great practice (Thursday). You just hope they carry that over to the game, and they definitely did that. I’m proud of how we played.”

Elgin was paced by Abby Pierre-Lewis with 10 points.

“We really struggled on offense,” Elgin coach Nick Bumbales said. “We slowed the game down a little in the second half and pulled to within five, but the shots just wouldn’t fall after that. I thought we would have a good chance if we held them in the 40s. Defensively we played well enough. Offensively we didn’t.”

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