ELGIN – Forcing turnovers tends to spark the Glenbard East running game.
One per minute did the trick in a 57-34 Upstate Eight win at Elgin Tuesday.
The Upstate Eight-leading leading Rams had already used a combination of first-half
defenses – 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones, man-to-man and full-court pressure – to
force seven turnovers in forging a 16-point lead.
Glenbard East (11-5, 7-1) played with renewed defensive intensity in the
third quarter and forced eight more miscues in as many minutes. Multiple
breakaway layups helped the Rams outscore Elgin 24-6 and take a 55-21 lead
through three quarters.
"It's exciting," said senior guard Deon Cook, who scored 10 of his
game-high 17 points in the third quarter, mostly on breakaways. "This game was about executing and putting them away rather than letting them linger around.
Elgin (5-13, 1-7) tied the Rams 8-8 on a bank shot by senior guard DionT
Rodgers with 3:18 left in the first quarter.
The Rams then broke clear with a 17-2 run fueled by four fast-break baskets.
Cook, junior forward LaDonis Rogers and junior guard Joe Hamilton each
notched transition buckets in that span.
"We just wanted them to make mistakes and play our defense the way we can
play," said Hamilton, who had five points and three steals.
The Maroons were outscored 42-13 in the middle two quarters when they shot
3 of 20 from the field and 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
"Obviously, turnovers have been a big thing for us this year," first-year
Elgin coach Todd Allen said. "We have to get better. I know they can make
the plays. We're just not executing. It's a matter of digging down deep
and finding a way."
Junior Jeffery Lomax finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds for Elgin,
which played without junior guard Xavier Bonds, who did not dress. Junior
Emmanuel Hernandez scored eight fourth-quarter points off the bench.
Senior Daron Hall scored 16 points and hauled down eight rebounds for Glenbard
East. Rogers and junior forward Jack Rivas contributed six points apiece.
"At this point after Christmas we're just working on getting better,
Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said. "I think we showed our offense is
not just Daron Hall. We have a lot of guys who can shoot it."