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Boys Basketball: Sean Sullivan, red-hot St. Charles East take care of business

Sullivan scores 24 points in 66-56 win over St. Joseph at Batavia's Night of Hoops

BATAVIA – Sean Sullivan and St. Charles East's appetite for winning isn't satisfied.

The Saints are red-hot, winners of seven of their last eight games and tied St. Charles North for first in the DuKane Conference with a win on Friday.

They again took care of business Saturday with a 66-56 victory over St. Joseph at the Batavia Night of Hoops.

"We're still hungry," said Sullivan, who had 24 points and four rebounds. "We want to win more; we're confident. We just want to keep playing."

St. Charles East has played exceptionally well since an 11-point loss to Benet on Jan. 16. The Saints have beaten Taft, Wheaton North and Lake Park to keep pace with St. Charles North in conference.

"I think this week has been huge for us," Sullivan said. "That Benet loss kind of got to us because we just didn't convert offensively. We turned [Benet] over 27 times, got outrebounded 32-14 and still didn't win – only lost by 11. Once we hit our shots and we turn people over, we're a good team."

St. Joseph tied it twice late in the fourth quarter Saturday, but the Saints were still able to grind out the win. Chase Monkemeyer's three-point play broke a 53-53 tie.

Zack Clodi and Sullivan followed with layups before Monkemeyer and Thomas Ditsworth each hit a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to nine.

The second quarter, though, was huge for Sullivan, who came off the bench. Sullivan went 4-for-8 from the 3-point line and helped lead a bench that appeared to give the starters the spark they needed while resting. The Saints built a 33-25 halftime lead after being down by nine points after the first quarter.

"That second quarter, our five guys off the bench carried us," St. Charles East coach Pat Woods said. "Scott [Breidigan], Sean, [Jack] Settle, AJ [Risberg]...they were great. It was a 22-7 quarter for us and a lot of it was that."

"We had 33 points off the bench tonight, which was huge," Woods continued. "Granted, 24 of them were Sean, but still. I could tell some of our guys were gassed; the ones that get more was great to have these other guys to put in because I don't know if we'd have an answer if we didn't."

St. Charles East (13-6, 6-1) was also led by Ditsworth's 11 points and seven rebounds, while Monkemeyer had 10 points.

J. Caleb Slawinski had 22 points and four rebounds to pace St. Joseph (10-9).

Kyle Thomas scored eight of his 15 points in the first quarter and finished with four rebounds.

St. Joseph overcame a 10-point deficit from the mid third quarter, but couldn't finish.

"Right now, our kids are learning how to play," said St. Joseph coach Bill Riley. "We're still young; we have a lot of guys who are inexperienced [on varsity]. We're still coming off of a nice tournament at Proviso West and we've hit a roadblock. We need to go back to the basics."

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