Elk Grove shares the burden in victory
When Elk Grove leading scorer Austin Amann has his shot going, the Grens are usually in good shape.
When Amann has only attempted 3 shots and his team has a 21-point halftime lead, the Grens are in really good shape.
That was the case for an Elk Grove squad that got a balanced scoring effort on Friday night and cruised to a 65-31 win at Wheeling to keep a share of the Mid-Suburban East lead with Prospect.
"He's trusted his teammates so when you look at his scoring, it's kind of subtle," Furman said of Amann (14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists). "He's playing with a lot of confidence right now."
Playing distributor is a role Amann said he doesn't mind one bit.
"If I need to score, I'm going to score. If I can give it to my teammates, I'm going to get it to my teammates," Amann said. "It doesn't revolve around one player. They were collapsing on the driver, so we just kicked it out."
Elk Grove sophomore Matt Wary (12 points), junior Joell Melendez (10 points) and senior point guard Kishan Patel (8 points) fueled an 11-0 run in the final two minutes and 25 seconds of the first half to put the game out of the reach of Wheeling (3-9, 0-4).
"We worked hard to get back in it but it's just disappointing to end a half that way," Como said. "It took a lot of the wind out of our sails, no doubt."
Elk Grove (6-4, 4-0) gave Wheeling's leading scorer Jeremy Stephani (12 points) all he could handle in the first half. The junior guard faced double teams inside the arc and wasn't given much space all night.
But even when Stephani did draw a one-on-one matchup, Elk Grove junior Bryan Alcazar (8 points, 8 rebounds) didn't allow any of his points to come easy.
"We wanted to make sure (Stephani) was always contested on a catch so he never really got a chance to think about shooting," Furman said. "I thought Alcazar really did a great job on him all night."
The defensive effort wasn't limited to Stephani. The Grens surrendered a mere 10 first-half points on three field goals.
Much like they did on Friday night, the Grens got off to the MSL start they were looking for.
"This is a big win," Amann said. "4-0 now in conference puts us at a great point right now going into the break. It's the best position we can be in. We just have a lot of confidence."
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