Holiday boys basketball tournaments often provide highly anticipated matchups contested before electric crowds in prime time.
They just as often provide matchups between teams with nothing in common winging it with little to no preparation in front of mainly close friends and family during midafternoon matinees.
Dundee-Crown’s 48-41 victory Friday over Walther Lutheran at the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament was of the latter variety and impressive in its own right considering the circumstances.
Less than 19 hours after they lost to host Elgin in heartbreaking fashion, the Chargers shook off a 7-0 deficit at the outset by outscoring the athletic Broncos 29-11 the rest of the first half. Senior Dylan Kissack, a 6-foot-3 forward, led the way with 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime en route to an 18-point, 11-rebound performance.
“It was definitely a tough loss (Thursday) so our focus was to come out with intensity,” Kissack said. “We were all pretty tired. We didn’t have much rest, so we wanted to come out with a lot of energy.”
Kissack’s 11 rebounds were a season high.
“Just when you think he can’t do more, he starts to rebound,” D-C coach Lance Huber said. “We’ll just keep putting more on his plate until he can’t eat anymore, I guess.”
The Broncos tried to rally in the second half behind 6-5 senior forward Dan Fuqua, who was tethered to the bench in the second quarter with 3 fouls. Fuqua scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the second half, including a drive for a one-handed dunk, but the Chargers maintained a 6-point lead after three quarters and never allowed the Broncos any closer.
“I thought we could get what we wanted inside, but they were kind of pressuring the ball,” Fuqua said. “I thought they had a pretty good defense.”
Dundee-Crown coaxed 18 turnovers from Walther Lutheran (5-8) while committing 12 themselves, offsetting a 32-25 rebounding deficit. The Chargers held the Broncos to 36-percent shooting (16 of 44).
“We just wanted to shut them down defensively and do our thing on offense,” said D-C guard Brandon Rodriguez, who finished with 15 points and 3 steals. “That was our main focus.”
The victory advances Dundee-Crown (9-2) to the fifth-place game against Glenbard North today at 5 p.m. Glenbard North defeated Rockford East 69-61. Walther Lutheran will play Rockford East at 1:45 p.m.
“Last year we had that chance and we weren’t successful,” Huber said of playing for fifth place at the Elgin Tournament. “The ‘09 team had that chance and couldn’t get it done. Maybe this group can get us into the top five.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.