Weather Updates

Boys Basketball: Shepard cruises past Little Village

Updated: December 26, 2013 10:34PM

Shepard responded to the early wake-up call for its first trip to the Romeoville Christmas Classic.

Shepard started the 9 a.m. game with a 7-0 run, led 33-19 at halftime and cruised to a 76-50 victory Thursday over Little Village in the opening game of the tournament.

“You have to wake up early and go with the team,’’ Shepard’s Jacob Littleton said. “It’s a little hard, but if you love basketball, it’s not.’’

Littleton got Shepard rolling right from the start and ended up with a game-high 28 points. The senior guard scored 10 first-quarter points on two three-pointers, two free throws and a drive to the basket.

“Jacob did a nice job of attacking the basket and getting things going,’’ Shepard coach Tony Chiuccariello. “He attacks the basket really well.’’

Shepard forward Zack Haxel got loose underneath for three first-quarter layups as the Astros capitalized on their size advantage. Guard Malcolm Lawson came off the bench to score seven points in the second quarter.

“I just try to get my teammates involved,’’ Littleton said. “We all play for each other.’’

Shepard (4-5) didn’t let up after halftime, outscoring Little Village 28-9 in the third quarter to go ahead 61-28.

“I thought the third quarter we played really well in terms of transition and sharing the ball,’’ Chiuccariello said. “Offensively, there were little things we didn’t do right.’’

Lawson finished with 16 points. Kenny Gorski and Kyle Longfield each had eight. Chiuccariello praised Gorski for defending Tavion Trimble.

“That kid could jump and drive,’’ the Shepard coach said of Trimble. “I thought Kenny did a nice job on him.’’

Xavier Hicks led Little Village (3-7) with 21 points and Trimble had 17.

“Everybody is sort of half asleep,’’ Little Village coach Brian Crowder said of the early game. “It was a learning experience for them. It’s our second year coming out here.’’

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.