Cwik scores 35, shoots South Elgin past Marian
Marian Central displayed plenty of resourcefulness and resolve while battling from behind most of way against South Elgin.
But for all the Hurricanes showed through three quarters of what their coach Charley Walsh considered a constant struggle, they just could not score enough points.
“I was pleased that we stayed in the game on effort and guts,” Walsh said. “We really weren't that efficient. Everything was a struggle for us. We just couldn't sustain that for 32 minutes. We turned the ball over too often, we couldn't get in any rhythm on offense the whole game, we worked too hard for all of our points and that's a credit to them.”
South Elgin, led by guard Drew Cwik's seven 3-pointers and 35 points, defeated Marian, 70-57, in their Consolation A bracket semifinal Monday at Jacobs' Hinkle Holiday Classic.
The Storm (7-8) will face Waubonsie Valley (8-5) for the Consolation A championship at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Marian (6-9) plays against Cary-Grove (7-6) at noon in their final game of the tournament.
Cwik hit four 3s in the first quarter as the Storm never trailed in the game. South Elgin did have problems against Marian's 1-3-1 zone defense with 23 turnovers, 21 in the first three quarters.
“I was trying to find spots,” said Cwik, who was 10 of 18 from the field. “Credit to my teammates. Every time we try to get it to the middle we always try to kick it out where the spots are in the zone. All credit to my teammates for knowing where I was and hitting shots.”
Storm coach Brett Johnson said Marian's zone was the first his team had seen this season. That, plus South Elgin's willingness to play up-tempo, led to some of the turnovers.
“We did turn it over a lot, but that's the style we want to play, so we'll turn it over some but we'll learn from those mistakes,” Johnson said. “We got them to turn it over a ton too. It's a give and take with the turnovers. We talk about live-ball turnovers. If you're going to turn it over, throw it out of bounds so they're not getting a fast break off of it. We got some easy breakaways on their turnovers.”
The Storm committed only two turnovers and hit 11 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Cwik hit two 3s and scored 15 of his points in the fourth.
“Coach told us to settle down a little bit and try to find our groove,” Cwik said.
Marian's sophomores Cale McThenia (24 points) and Christian Bentancur (23) led the way. The Hurricanes cut the lead to 45-41 after three quarters, but South Elgin kept its distance in the fourth.
“We were trying to stay patient in our offense and started to hit big shots,” McThenia said. “In the fourth quarter, we fell apart. We got tired.”
Johnson knew Cwik could be the Storm's key player against a zone.
“We expect him to make shots,” Johnson said. “He got them off of catches. Any good shooter, when they catch in rhythm, get the bend down, they're going to make shots. He didn't have to work hard to get the open looks.”
Walsh still liked his team's effort.
“We could never seem to get out of the hole,” Walsh said. “I was pleased with our pressure (defense). We have to be more consistent on offense.”