Despite pace, St. Charles North boys basketball wins conference crossover game

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Although the pace of Tuesday’s night game was less than exciting, the St. Charles North boys basketball team came out on top of the low scoring contest with Bartlett, 44-36.

The teams combined for only 17 baskets in the first half of the Upstate Eight Conference crossover game.  

“We’re not going to make excuses about a Tuesday night in finals week. We played the game at Bartlett’s pace,” North coach Tom Poulin said. “I thought they took away certain parts of our transition game and we didn’t do a real good job of identifying what they were giving us. We were able to pull out a W so we’ll take and run with it.”

The North Stars (10-5) led 12-7 after the first quarter and limited the Hawks to only two baskets in the period.

Bartlett (10-7) made efficient use of its shots in the second quarter. The Hawks sank six baskets in the second eight minutes with five of them beyond the 3-point arc giving them a slim 24-23 lead at half time.

Bartlett’s Ryan DiCanio made five of his team’s second quarter baskets, draining four treys in row. His last 3-pointer, just before the buzzer, gave Bartlett the lead. The junior guard led all scorers with 16 points.

North increased the tempo of the game in the third quarter and retook the lead. Two free throws by John Davern with 1:50 left in the quarter put the North Stars ahead, 30-28. The North Stars defense again limited the Hawks to two baskets.

“I think it was a matter that they shot really well in the first half and the second half they didn’t hit their shots,” North Stars guard Jake Ludwig said.

The junior was North’s top scorer with 15 points.

“We pushed the ball a little bit better towards the end of the third,” Poulin said.  “And we trapped a little bit out of the zone which we had success with.”

Bartlett pulled with three points halfway through the fourth quarter on a basket by Justin Busch, 38-35. 

On North’s next possession, a put back basket by reserve Garrett Johnson, returned the lead to five points. Johnson scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds.  

“Garrett plays hard and does a real good job of understanding his role and doing what we need him to do for us to be successful,” Poulin said.

“We had a rhythm there in the second quarter and knocked down some shots,” Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. “In the second half we missed good threes. We had good looks, but we just didn’t knock them down.”

Jack Callaghan scored nine points for North.  Robbie Jimenez tallied eight points for Bartlett.