St. Edward stays hot, routs Westminster Christian
St. Edward jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first five minutes of its home game against Westminster Christian Tuesday night and never looked back, overwhelming the Warriors, 66-37 in a nonconference contest.
It was the fourth game in a row the Green Wave dominated their opponents, according to St. Edward coach Andy Zielinski.
"During the last three or four games, we been jumping on teams and getting big leads and we kind of did it again," the coach said. "We're hoping to continue like that for the rest of the regular season and into the regionals."
The Green Wave, currently in first place in the Metro Suburban League Red Division with a 7-0 record, wind up the regular season facing strong conference opponents.
"We have a big game Friday against Elmwood Park, then play Westmont and the last game is against Bishop McNamara and they're right behind us," said Zielinski.
With a big lead, Zielinski rested his starters throughout the game - an option Westminster (6-14), with only eight players in uniform, did not have.
"I know they were short-handed," said Zielinski. "They were down a couple of kids."
The Warriors rallied in the second quarter and pulled with 24-17 with 2:50 left in the half on a 3-pointer by Justin Glanzer. St. Edward closed out the quarter with three straight baskets for a 30-17 lead at intermission.
The Green Wave put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring Westminster 23-5 for a 50-22 lead to start the fourth quarter.
Zielinski felt his team has turned the corner offensively after the winter break. The Green Wave (18-7) has won 9 of their last 11 games.
"Shooting is contagious we tell the kids and they've been working really hard in practice," said Zielinski. "At Christmas we struggled, we had problems scoring and now it's kind of all come together."
He also credits the development of 6-foot-5 sophomore Kaden Dawson's inside game.
"He makes a big difference in our shooters. Robert Wilson is a great shooter and so is Jacob Breier and Ben (Zielinski) can knock them down," said the St. Edward coach. "And with Dawson, now we an extra threat. He's been playing really well the last six or seven games."
Wilson led all scorers Tuesday with 18 points. Dawson chipped in 11.
Carson Busto (10 points) and Jacob Biewer are the team's unsung heroes according to Zielinski.
"Carson and Jacob are kind of interchangeable. They don't get accolades, but they've been playing really hard all year. I can't say enough about them," said Zielinski. "They kind of round out the top 6."
St. Edward reserves scored 21 points in the game including two 3-pointers by Diego Bedolla.
Nathanael Ephrem led Westminster with 12 points and teammate Joram Versaw contributed 11.