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Perfect Proviso East quickly speeds past Schaumburg
By Marty Maciaszek | Daily Herald Staff

Schaumburg's Kyle Bolger powers his way to the basket with Proviso East's Sterling Brown defending in sectional final action at Schaumburg on Friday.


Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

It's a battle in the paint as Schaumburg and Proviso East fight for a rebound before a packed house at Schaumburg on Friday.


Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Schaumburg's Kyle Bolger comforts Christian Spandiary as their season comes to a conclusion in the sectional final at Schaumburg High School on Friday.


Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

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Published: 3/10/2012 1:35 AM

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Schaumburg wanted to prevent a hostile takeover of its home court by a dangerous crew of Pirates on Friday night.

But unbeaten Proviso East never let up in its desire to take away the ball and ultimately any chance the Saxons had in the Class 4A boys basketball sectional championship game.

Top-seeded Proviso East's relentless defensive pressure led to 24 turnovers and a 78-39 victory before a sellout crowd at Schaumburg.

"This year they were probably the quickest team we've played," said Schaumburg junior guard Kyle Bolger, who led all scorers with 20 points.

"They were the quickest team I've ever played against," said Schaumburg senior Christian Spandiary, who closed his three-year varsity career with a pair of 3-pointers and 6 points. "They were always there. You would turn around and there they are."

And where Proviso East (30-0) will be next is the Hinsdale Central supersectional at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday where it will play West Aurora (25-5), a 69-61 winner over Metea Valley (25-5) in the East Aurora sectional final.

A driving 3-point play by Bolger 1:23 into the game gave third-seeded Schaumburg (24-6) its only lead at 3-2 as its 10-game winning streak was snapped.

"They took us out of our game and we just didn't execute," Spandiary said after the Saxons shot 30.6 percent (11-for-36) from the field and 4-for-16 from 3-point range.

"We came out ready to play and we were right there at the beginning," said Bolger, who shot 5-for-7 from the field and 9-for-10 at the free-throw line. "We knew we had to keep our heads in it but they played a heck of a game."

Schaumburg committed 8 first-quarter turnovers . Junior Sterling Brown (18 points, 8 rebounds) capped a personal 8-point run with a dunk to put Proviso East up 20-4 after eight minutes.

"That's our thing," Brown said of the Pirates' 27 points off turnovers. "We try to get stops on defense. Defense leads to offense and defense wins championships and that's what we're trying to do."

Spandiary and Bolger did get free for consecutive 3s to give the Saxons some life as they got within 23-12. But 12 turnovers in the next 11-plus minutes fueled Proviso East to a 49-21 lead.

"When they turned it over the first couple of plays we kind of knew we could force them to do things they didn't want to do," said Loyola-bound senior guard Keith Carter, who scored 13 points. "I think we're bringing it all together now. Everyone is playing well."

Brandon Jenkins also came off the bench to score 7 of his 11 points in the second quarter as the Pirates reached the 30-win mark for the fourth time in their storied history. The previous three teams won state titles.

The Pirates shot 52.6 percent from the field (30-for-57), made 6 of 16 attempts from 3-point range and finished with a 29-20 rebound advantage.

"We just weren't able to recover from the start," said Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh. "The speed and quickness they bring is unbelievable.

"But it's not just their athleticism and defensive pressure. They are supremely talented. They handle and pass the ball so well and shoot the ball so well. Unfortunately when we did get good looks we weren't able to knock them down."

Which kept the Saxons from getting a late shot at breaking through after losing in sectional finals the previous two years. But this year's team ended up with a Mid-Suburban League title and the third-highest win total in program history.

"I'm proud of every single one of us," Spandiary said. "I don't care about the score. We battled and tried our hardest."