Boys Basketball: Strus hits new heights for Stagg in 72-50 win over Willowbrook
Stagg senior Max Strus grew four inches over the offseason. His game might have grown even more.
The 6-foot-5 guard poured in a career-high 30 points as Stagg improved to 3-0 with a 72-50 rout over visiting Willowbrook on Friday.
“My brother is 6-10, so I was waiting for my growth spurt,” Strus said. “I’m hoping more is still coming.”
Strus knocked down 9-of-17 shots and added six rebounds and three assists. He scored 11 points in the second quarter to catalyze an explosive 20-2 run to start the frame, and his second transition dunk during the spurt gave Stagg (3-0) a decisive 33-13 advantage.
“Max has a decision if he wants to be a great college player or a good one,” Stagg coach John Daniels said. “He’s going to be a good player in college because he can score.
“He’s finishing, handling the ball — he was our point guard as a sophomore — all those things are there. I think what’s going to take Max to the next level is Max.”
Jeff Goral added 16 points and eight rebounds for Stagg. Kevin White netted seven points after being limited with foul trouble.
Edvinas Mickevicius led Willowbrook (1-2) with 15 points but needed 19 shots to do so. Chris Poole chipped in 14 for the Warriors, who fought back early in the third before Stagg pulled away.
Willowbrook opened the second half on a 10-3 run and later managed to cut the lead to 44-36 on a Poole three-pointer.
Strus then responded with six straight points and Stagg never looked back.
“Our team is good enough on offense to score, but our defense needs to pick up,” Strus said. “We’re not going to win many games if we keep playing defense like that. We need to communicate better, rotate on help side and start taking charges.”