SOUTH ELGIN – After yielding 99 points the last time it faced South Elgin, the West Chicago boys basketball team focused on defense in practice leading up to Friday’s rematch. The extra attention definitely paid off.
Holding the Storm to 32 points in the opening half, the Wildcats cruised to a 90-63 victory in Upstate Eight Valley conference action.
“We tightened it down defensively, and the kids shot the ball well,” West Chicago coach Bill Recchia said. “Assistant coach [Brian] Ricci spends every day running shooting drills; we spend 20-30 minutes a day on shooting. We are shooting over 50 percent for the year and that’s the reason for it, the hard work the kids do and what coach Ricci does. It’s paying off.”
Mikey Bibbs caught fire from the perimeter, knocking down six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 27 points.
“We see Mikey do that every single day in practice,” Recchia said. “It’s not just something we see once or twice a year. We see that shooting consistently out of him, he is a dead-on shooter.”
John Konchar added 24 points and headed into this week just 105 points away from the program record for career points, which is held by Recchia.
“I can’t wait to be the first one to shake his hand when he breaks it,” the coach said. “He is shooting 40 percent on threes and over 60 percent on twos.”
West Chicago was coming off a 70-69 loss to Metea Valley in which the Wildcats came back from a 16-point halftime deficit to tie the score before falling short in the closing seconds.
“We had the opportunity to win that ballgame, and that is all you can ask,” Recchia said. “That was a tough one but they showed their level of character by bouncing back against South Elgin.”
The squad, which took an overall record of 13-9 into Tuesday’s matchup against Kaneland, is off this weekend before returning to the court next Tuesday for a nonconference affair with Glenbard South.
“It’s a huge team collaboration that is going on here,” Recchia said, “and it’s fun to watch.”