ST. CHARLES – A pair of 8-0 runs at the end of each half spurred the St. Charles North boys basketball team to a 64-53 win over North Lawndale on Wednesday at the 55th Annual Ron Johnson Tournament.
The North Stars’ 8-0 run to close out the first half – which happened in the last 43 seconds – gave North a 32-22 lead heading into halftime.
The Phoenix slowly whittled down North’s lead, eventually tying the game, 49-all, with 4:03 to go in the fourth quarter. But North (2-0) scored the next eight points over the next three-plus minutes to go up, 59-50. The North Stars went 7 of 8 from the free-throw line in the final 1:30 to seal the win.
“We knew they were going to make a run; they made their run there and we answered,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “Against a team like that, screening and boxing out kind of levels the playing field. They were just shooting some shots up there and just crashing. I would say 80 percent of their points were off of offensive rebounds.”
Key for the Phoenix was Keith Mack, who scored six points over a two-minute span that helped North Lawndale tie the game at 49.
North’s late 8-0 run saw senior guard Alec Goetz take control, hitting a runner to give North a 51-49 lead. Goetz went 6 for 6 from the line in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter and had a key steal with North clinging to a 57-50 lead with 1:01 to go.
“We came back and played well in the fourth quarter,” Goetz said. “It was a big win for us. That’s two ranked teams we’ve beaten now. We made a run and then they made a run, but we were really strong in the end.”
Goetz was quiet in the first half as the North Stars jumped out to a big lead on the back of 10 Jake Ludwig points. In the 8-0 run at the end of the first half, Jack Callaghan hit two 3-pointers in a span of 20 seconds to push the North Stars to a 32-22 lead.
Goetz scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter while adding a pair of important steals.
“We didn’t really game plan that much; we just came out in a zone and executed it,” Goetz said. “We needed this, it was a good win. It was a little rough around the edges, but we scrapped at the end.”
Ludwig had 14 for North while Erik Miller scored nine of his 11 points in the first half.
Mack scored 16 points for North Lawndale.
North will return to tournament action Friday against Downers Grove South.
In the final game of the night, Schaumburg withstood a late rally from St. Charles East to claim a 65-60 win.
East held a 31-26 halftime lead, but Schaumburg’s Brendan Parker scored the Saxons’ first 11 points of the second half to help Schaumburg pull ahead, 39-34.
With 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter and East down 63-58, Dom Adduci looked to pull the Saints within three on a lay-in but the senior was called for a charge, fouling out of the game.
Parker missed a pair of free throws with 22 seconds to go that set up an Evan DiLeonardi lay-up to cut it to 63-60 with 14 seconds to go.
Schaumburg’s Marquis Woodard split a pair of free-throws with 11 seconds to go to make it a two possession game.
The Saints (1-1) continue to play without injured projected starters Cole Gentry and David Mason.