PONTIAC – The St. Charles North boys basketball team was on the money at the end of quarters Thursday, canning 3-pointers to beat the buzzer in each of the first three quarters as the North Stars opened the Pontiac Holiday Tournament with a 66-58 win against Waukegan.
After Alec Goetz (first quarter) and Quinten Payne (second quarter) hit buzzer-beaters, point guard Tony Neari launched one from half-court that dropped to give North (7-4) a 42-35 lead entering the fourth quarter.
“The game was starting to take on the same feeling as the first time we faced them [a one-point loss], when we kind of pulled away and they came just close enough to come back and win,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “ ... And then when Tony hit that 3, our guys really seemed to perk up and have a ton of confidence going into the fourth.”
Payne (22 points), Goetz (16), Justin Stanko (11) and Neari (10) were all in double figures for North, which advances to face West Aurora in the second round this afternoon.
Poulin said besides Neari’s heave, North’s other opportunistic, quarter-ending buckets were no fluke.
Elgin Tournament: Batavia defeated Rockford East, 68-63, in the second round behind 18 points from Micah Coffey.
Zach Strittmatter (13) and Mike Carlson (11) also hit double figures for Batavia. Coach Jim Nazos was proud of how the Bulldogs (5-7), who trailed by one point to start the fourth quarter, handled the E-Rabs’ defensive pressure down the stretch.
“It’s one of those games were we really had to deal with double teams and find the open guy,” Nazos said.
The Bulldogs will see Upstate Eight Conference River foe Larkin in a semifinal at 6:30 p.m tonight.
Plano Tournament: Kaneland and Aurora Christian both advanced to semifinals with quarterfinal wins.
The Knights beat Newark, 54-35, after jumping out to a 15-3 lead in the first quarter. Ty Carlson led the Knights with 16 points.
Aurora Christian, meanwhile, knocked off Hinckley-Big Rock, 56-46. Cory Windle scored 15 points for the Eagles, who will face Belvidere in a semifinal tonight.
Chuck Dayton Tournament: Marmion fell in a tournament semifinal to Winnebago, 61-49. The Cadets will play Hampshire for the second time in the tournament in today’s 5 p.m. third-place game.
Glenbard West Tournament: St. Francis routed Hubbard, 67- 37, in consolation action. Jason Sullivan (14 points, four 3-pointers) led St. Francis, while Kevin McShea and Andrew Kimball (11 points each) also factored in for St. Francis (8-2), which continues tournament play against Timothy Christian at 6:15 p.m. today.
Wheaton North Tournament: St. Charles East defeated Jacobs, 62-49, in consolation play. Paige Jordan (14 points), Carly Pottle (12) and Amanda Hilton (10) were in double figures for the Saints (8-7).
Oswego East Tournament: Aurora Central Catholic fell in the second round to Downers Grove South, 37-33. Lisa Rodriguez scored 16 points for the Chargers (6-6).