Regional win confidence boost for Lisle boys hoops
Lions set to tip off against IC Catholic Prep at 6 p.m. tonight.
WESTMONT — If playoff basketball is all about momentum, look out for Lisle's boys team.
The Lions played well in every facet of the game and topped Westmont 43-38 Monday in a Class 2A regional semifinal at Westmont.
"It feels really good to win, especially against Westmont at Westmont and knowing we beat them 2-1 this season," Lisle senior Cody Monson said.
It felt good to not only defeat their biggest rival but also to move on to the regional semifinal, where they will get another shot at IC Catholic Prep. The Knights topped the Lions 73-40 Jan. 9, but a solid rivalry win could work wonders for Lisle.
"It gives us a lot of confidence," Monson said. "We're feeling really good right now."
On Wednesday, the Lions will be riding the momentum of their first-round win while the Knights will be riding high after clinching the Suburban Christian Gold title last week. Lisle certainly will be looking for a different result from the Jan. 9 game.
"They got to the basket anytime they wanted," Lisle coach Mark LaScala said of the IC. "They're very athletic with Demetrius Carr and their guards, but we have to stop their penetration and keep them out of the paint. It's going to be tough to beat them, but we're going to give it our best."
Replicating Monday's performance would be a good place to start.
Lisle ( 14-14) jumped out to a 7-1 lead but trailed 11-10 at the end of the first quarter. Dawon Burrell's baseline jumper early in the second quarter tied it at 12-12, and after Lamont Ross' three-pointer with 5:47 left in the second, Lisle never trailed again. Westmont tied it twice in the second half, the last on a pair of Greg Pietrzak free throws with 2:17 to play. But 18 seconds later, Jonny Parrillo drained a trey that sent the Lions on to a hard-earned victory.
"I think it's a really difficult thing to come to this gym and win a regional game against Westmont," LaScala said. "The rivalry plays into that. We know each other so well, but I thought our kids controlled the tempo well."
The Lions also controlled the boards to the tune of a 29-16 advantage. Their dominance on the glass was evident during one second-quarter possession in which they grabbed five offensive rebounds on one trip down the floor.
"Defense and rebounding were big," Monson said. "The rebounding definitely helped us."
Ross took the rebounding part of his game seriously Monday night. He scored a team-high 15 points but was more pleased with his nine rebounds.
"The first time we played them they beat us on a buzzer-beater and that game came down to rebounding," Ross said. "I realized rebounds were going to be important so that's what I came out here to do."
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