GENEVA – St. Charles North guard Armon Osborne spent most of last winter anchored toward the end of a deep North Stars bench.
If he keeps scoring the way he did Wednesday night, that won’t be the case this season.
Osborne, a rising junior guard, showed a knack for scoring in bunches in the championship game of the Geneva Summer League tournament as the North Stars fell to defending Upstate Eight Conference River champion Larkin, 53-48.
At one point a little more than halfway through the second half, the 5-foot-10 left-hander scored nine straight points for his team, two 3-pointers followed by a three-point play.
“It was a lot of fun,” Osborne said. “I like high-scoring games, putting up points.”
Leaning on returning standouts Jake Ludwig and Jack Callaghan and several fresh faces auditioning for larger roles – such as Osborne – North eliminated Aurora Central Catholic, Naperville Central and St. Charles East in the single-elimination event before dropping a close championship game to the Royals.
The final three points of Osborne’s flurry gave North a 39-38 lead with 7 minutes to play – there are two, 20-minute running clocks in league games – but the Royals flashed the late-game toughness they’re known for during the winter in fending off the North Stars, who were guided by assistant coach Rob Prentiss in head coach Tom Poulin’s absence.
North moved to the championship game with a 58-40 semifinal win against crosstown foe St. Charles East.
The Saints entered the tournament as the only unbeaten team in league play. Saints coach Pat Woods likes what he’s seeing as East – led by senior point guard Cole Gentry – moves on from the graduations of Dom Adduci and AJ Washington, both of whom are preparing to play college ball.
“We share the ball so well,” Woods said. “It’s almost like the San Antonio Spurs might be rubbing off on us a little bit. There’s great team chemistry on this group. They’ve been playing together since they’re young, they share the ball well and there’s just unselfishness.”
In earlier tournament action, host Geneva eliminated Batavia, pulling away from the Bulldogs in the final minute of a competitive matchup. The Vikings were then ousted in the quarterfinal round by Metea Valley.
East’s quarterfinal win was a comfortable one over Wheaton Academy, which like many teams this time of year, was playing shorthanded. The Warriors did have standout senior Josh Ruggles – former King of the Hill 3-point champion in the state – who is transitioning this offseason from shooting guard to point guard.
“I really like a lot of what he’s doing, being the lead guard,” Wheaton Academy coach Pete Froedden said. “He’s distributing, he’s seeing and making decisions. He’s got that kind of IQ to do that.
“Ultimately, we’re putting in a new offense this summer, too, so it’s a little bit stagnant but it’ll obviously get better as we’re able to practice and teach and do those kinds of things.”