To say that Buffalo Grove senior guard Luke Potnick had his way at Hersey on Saturday night might be putting it mildly.
Potnick, harassed most of the night by the Huskies’ defense, still managed 25 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in the Bison’s 63-52 Mid-Suburban East victory.
“Anything can happen conference-wise down the stretch,” Potnick said. “Our goal is to play the best basketball in the next few months.”
Right now, Buffalo Grove pulled to 3-3 in conference play and 8-10 overall by taking the season series over the Huskies (5-10, 2-4).
The Bison trailed only twice at 2-0 and 4-3 before Steve Soifer, who suffered a left leg injury in the third quarter, put BG ahead for good at 5-4 with 5:04 left in the first quarter.
Buffalo Grove finished the quarter with a 15-6 run that found Potnick scoring 7 points in the run for a 20-10 lead.
Hersey played a stronger second quarter as Alex Sturinaitis (13 points) scored 6 points in the quarter and the Huskies hit 6-of-6 free throws to trail 36-24 at halftime.
“We didn’t play very good defense in the first half,” said Hersey coach Steve Messer. “We played real good defense the first three or four minutes of the second half to get their lead into the single digits (36-32), but that was all.”
As assist by Potnick to Jonah Malin and 4 points by Potnick lifted the Bison to a 46-37 lead after three quarters.
Leading 49-39 with 6:07 after Hersey’s Mike Fuerst (13 points, 11 rebounds) basket, the Bison then began to pull away.
Andrew Apel (11 points. 5 rebounds) connected on a 3-point play.
Potnick made a behind the back assist to Kevin Newman who was cutting through the baseline and then to Kyle Calcagno for a 56-41 lead with 3:50 remaining.
“We did a good job in the fourth quarter by hitting free throws (9 of 15) and came up with good defensive stops,” O’Connor said. “He (Potnick) dishes the ball well He played good defense, had assists and rebounds. And that’s just part of his game.
“The big difference between him now and the past two years is if a call went against him or if he would miss a shot he would hang his head. Now he comes back and makes a defensive play.”
“The difference this year is that I have fire and passion,”Potnick said. “ I play to help my teammates. Maturity and experience as a player has helped me become a better player. It’s a mindset.
“I’ve been hurt parts of my sophomore and junior years and I missed some games. This past summer I worked on my conditioning and ballhandling. When you get fatigued you can make mistakes.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.