Hersey used its size and dictated the offensive pace to its advantage in Friday night's Mid-Suburban League East road game against Wheeling.
The Huskies had multiple second-chance opportunities because of offensive rebounds, which helped lead the way to a 47-37 victory.
"I think we matched their energy," said Hersey coach Steve Messer. "I think Wheeling played with a ton of energy the whole game, and we matched that energy. I don't think we outworked them. But we worked equally. And we're taller, so we got more rebounds."
Hersey (7-14, 4-5) held a 34-23 rebounding advantage, and a big factor was senior forward Quinn Orlandi, who pulled down 10 rebounds and scored 4 points.
"As much as it looks like the big guys are getting the rebound, the guards have a lot to do with it," Orlandi said. "They boxed their guys out on the perimeter so we could go in and clean it up."
Wheeling (6-18, 1-8) was able to cut a 7-point halftime deficit to 1 point midway through the third quarter behind the hot shooting of seniors Nate Majkowski, who scored all 6 of his points in the third quarter, and Nick Riccardi, who scored 4 of his 7 points in the third quarter.
Majkowski also had 4 rebounds and 5 assists in the game.
"Number one, it was offensive rebounds for Hersey, and number two it was transition," said Wheeling assistant coach Mike O'Keefe of the Wildcats' inability to take the lead during the third quarter.
"I feel like every made basket we got, they grabbed it out of the rim, took it out in transition, and got an easy bucket. Or missed a shot in early transition, got an offensive rebound, and got a putback."
O'Keefe filled in for head coach Anthony Como, who had to attend to a family obligation.
"We went on a little streak there where we weren't getting many rebounds," said Hersey guard Alex Mueller (game-high 15 points). "Once we started getting those rebounds back, we started to make a push. We went back to hitting shots. We hit a few big shots, and were able to gain some momentum."
Messer said Wheeling was crashing the glass pretty hard, and that led to opportunities for Hersey's transition offense.
"They sent so many guys to the glass," Messer said. "That was part of the reason it (transition) was effective. "They were rushing guys, going after the ball in an effort to make a rebound. They were up there, and we were able to get an alley and go. We do it all the time. That's just what we do."
Wheeling junior guard Chris Pierro scored a team-high 11 points, including three 3-pointers while senior guard Kameron Hill had 4 points and 8 rebounds.
Sophomore guards Payton Haas and Max Heeren each scored 7 points for Hersey while teammate Mike Fuerst, a junior center, scored 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.