Second-half surge lifts St. Viator
There are plenty of NBA teams that would love to score the way St. Viator did in the second half against Libertyville.
The Lions put up 48 points after halftime, including 27 in the third quarter, to roll to an 80-60 victory over the Wildcats in the first round of the 35th annual Wheeling Wildcat Hardwood Classic.
"We are really dangerous when we share the ball," said St. Viator coach Mike Howland. "The ball was really moving in that third quarter. We can put up points in a hurry when we play together because we have a lot of weapons out there."
After 2 free throws from Jack Deichl (9 points) cut the Lions' lead to 33-29 just over a minute into the second half, Viator embarked on a 24-9 run that covered 5:01.
Patrick Martin started the run with 1 of the team's 7 3-pointers and Ore Arogundade scored 9 of his 11 points in the quarter as the Lions hit 10 of their 14 shots.
"We first picked it up on the defensive end and got them to turn the ball over a lot," said Kevin Hammarlund, who scored 6 of his 13 points during that stretch. "Once we started running, everyone was filling lanes and hitting shots. It was a fun quarter."
Mark Falotico scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the first half and St. Viator (8-1) led by as many as 10, but Libertyville (1-11) hung around with Matt Reed scoring 6 of his 12 points in the first quarter.
"In the first half, we made a couple mistakes where we had a chance to get within 2 or take the lead and it just slipped a little bit," said Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil. "That was a little too much for us to overcome right now."
In all, ten Lions scored. But it was the first half play of Falotico, who hit 7 of his 11 shots overall including 4 3-pointers, that opened things up for the rest of his teammates after intermission.
"I don't really know how you gameplan for him," Howland said of his sophomore point guard. "I'm sure (Libertyville) goes into halftime and the focus is on him. And then everyone else gets their opportunity."
One game after being shutout against Lake Forest, junior Jack Lipp didn't start but played exceptionally, especially in the second half when he scored 18 of his game-high 23 points.
"We wanted him to watch the game a little bit," Bogumil said. "He responded, but they had a couple more guys step up."
St. Viator, who hadn't played in 11 days, had a 21-7 advantage at the free throw line.
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