Larkin adapts, downs Waubonsie Valley

Larkin's boys basketball team would prefer to play an up-tempo, high-scoring game.

But, when forced to play at a slower pace, the Royals can adapt.

Scoring only 28 points after three quarters, Larkin turned on the jets in the fourth quarter, outscoring Waubonsie Valley 26-7 to win easily 54-37 in second round action of the Hinkle Classic hosted by Jacobs Wednesday night.

"I liked our patience and defense the first three quarters," said Larkin coach Deryn Carter. "We got the adrenaline going in the fourth quarter and were able to play at a faster tempo."

Trailing the defensive-minded Warriors (6-5) 30-28 after three quarters, the Royals dominated on both ends of the floor during the final 8 minutes.

Propelled by 8 points from Dontrell Maxie, which included 2 putbacks, and 3 baskets for 6 points from Fernando Perez, Larkin (11-1) started the fourth quarter on a 18-3 run. After a 12-footer by Perez, Larkin held a 46-33 lead with 4:22 left in the contest. The only points for the Warriors during the run came on a 3-pointer from Samy Ennassiri.

Perez, who scored 14 points in the second half, led the Royals with 24 points. Damari Wheeler-Thomas added 10 while Maxey scored 8, all in the fourth quarter.

Perez, who connected on 9-of-15 shots from the floor, dished out 5 assists.

"I had to adjust to their defense," said Perez. "I had to find the open spots in the zone to get my shots. Our pressure got to them in the fourth quarter and we were able to cut loose."

Maxey, who grabbed 8 rebounds for the game, was a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor in the final period.

"It was a grind the first three quarters," said Maxey. "We finally got the running game and the blood flowing in the fourth quarter."

The Royals were consistent at the defensive end for 32 minutes.

Waubonsie Valley, committing 22 turnovers, made 14-of-44 shots for 31%.

"Larkin really plays great defense," said Waubonsie Valley coach Andrew Schweitzer. "They finally wore us down in the fourth quarter. We are a very young squad and we don't back down from good competition like Larkin and Bolingbrook. We think we can be a good team come playoff time in February."

Shoi Rathi and Tyler Helbing (2 3-pointers) led the Warriors with 10 point each.

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