Boys Basketball: Stagg still in charge, wins its own tournament for third straight year
Stagg is ready to run.
Prepping for the jump to the SouthWest Suburban Blue, the Chargers ran to a 66-51 win over Nazareth Saturday, capping off a 4-0 showing at its own tournament to take the championship.
“We want to get the ball up the floor and get a shot up within 10 seconds,” Stagg’s Max Strus said. “With the new conference, we want to get it going, score fast and get back on defense.”
The tournament MVP, Strus scored 21 points, had six rebounds and five assists for Stagg (4-0) in the win. Kevin White (18 points), Anthony Gardner (10 points, 8 rebounds) and Jeff Goral (9 points, 8 rebounds) contributed.
Stagg won its own tournament for the third straight year, using a fast-paced third quarter to pull away for good.
Holding a slim 29-28 lead early in the third, the Chargers picked up the pace in a big way. Sebastian Kolpak scored twice inside on back-to-back possessions on passes from Gardner and Strus, starting a quick spurt for Stagg.
Rebounding, hitting the outlet pass and going, the Chargers were off and running. Smith (7 points) and Strus (6 points) took over from there, scoring Stagg’s next 13 points in pulling away for a 46-31 lead.
“I think we were a little surprised they were playing up-tempo (in the first half),” White said. “We were rushing our shots some, but we talked at halftime about recollecting ourselves and bringing it back down. We got the fast break going so that was really nice.”
The lightning-quick 13-1 run came in just three-plus minutes, the Chargers racing Nazareth down the floor. Stagg outscored Nazareth 24-10 in the third.
“We definitely want to build up some confidence with this team,” Strus said. “We’ve only got two or three guys coming back from last year so we want to get everybody confident. We’ve got to get our defense going better.”
Christopher Swade (17 points) and Michael Brooks (11 points) led Nazareth (3-1), the Roadrunners shooting just 4-of-21 from the field in the third quarter.
St. Laurence 52, Willowbrook 44: Behind junior guard Matt Gurgone’s hot-shooting performance, St. Laurence (1-3) never trailed Saturday at the Stagg tournament.
Gurgone finished with 28 points, including a 6-of-6 performance from three-point range, to lead the Vikings with Tim Delaney (13 points) contributing.
St. Laurence went up by as many as 13 points in the first half but had to fight off a furious Willowbrook down the stretch.
The Vikings hit 11-of-15 free throws in the fourth to preserve the win.
Kyle Rushing (14 points), Edvinas Mickevicius (13) and Chris Poole (10) led Willowbrook (1-3).