Considering the talented players the Mundelein boys basketball team expected to feature this season, expectations were understandably high.
So when the Mustangs lost Northern Iowa-bound senior Robert Knar to a knee injury until at least February, and more recently starters Chino Ebube and Nate Williams for the foreseeable future, its easy to expect a dip in expectations.
Thats not how Southern Illinois-bound senior Sean OBrien and coach Dick Knar see it.
No matter who is out and when they are coming back, our expectation to win every game is still the same, Knar said.
So when the host Mustangs fell behind 22-21 to Lakes in the second round of the Mundelein and Warren boys basketball tournament, the Mustangs stayed focused on their goal of winning.
I told Sean and Dylan (Delaquila) to continue with the energy and bring it to the offensive end right away, Knar said of his halftime pep talk. We had gotten most of our points in the first half off (Lakes) turnovers so we needed to get it going offensively.
Delaquila and OBrien took the advice to heart.
OBrien scored 10 of his game-best 26 points and Delaquila dished out 5 assists in a 21-point third quarter as Mundelein earned its first win of the season 59-49 over the Eagles. Lakes falls to 1-1.
That third quarter was definitely the difference, said Lakes coach Chris Snyder. We told the kids at halftime that Mundelein would come out and jump us in the third quarter and they really jumped out on us quick.
Lakes built its 1-point halftime led by the play of senior Justin Bergeron. He scored 6 of his team-best 12 points in the first half, as the Eagles took the early lead.
But the Mustangs roared out of the locker room, outscoring the Eagles 15-2 over the first six minutes of the quarter in building a 36-24 advantage.
The lead grew to as much as 42-27 before the Eagles made a run of their own. Lakes used a 9-0 burst in the fourth quarter to pull within 47-45 with 3:34 left, but a huge 3-pointer from Thomas Gandolfi and a trio of buckets from OBrien sealed the Mustangs first win.
Cliff Dunigan added 15 points for Mundelein and Jake Kohler had 11 for Lakes.
Barrington 54, Uplift 40: The type of ball movement that gave Barrington an early lead in its second-round contest of the Mundelein and Warren boys basketball tournament Tuesday is just what coach Bryan Tucker had hoped to get out of his Broncos team this season.
As Barrington built a 23-9 advantage after one quarter, the Broncos had 9 assists on the first 10 baskets. It was that unselfish play that lifted Barrington to its first win of the season, a 54-40 win over Uplift.
When we share the ball and move without the ball, it opens things up for our offense, Tucker said. We had good spacing and it allowed us to get good looks at the basket.
One of the most unselfish Broncos was senior Brad Zaumseil. Zaumseil dished out 6 assists to go with his game-high 14 points to lead the Barrington attack.
We try and get everyone involved in the offense, Zaumseil said. Even when we dont have our offense clicking, we still rely on our defense and coach says thats where it starts.
Barrington (1-1) built a 28-20 halftime advantage over the Titans by limiting Uplift (1-1) to just 7 of 24 from the field in the first half. The Titans, who rely more on their long range shooting, were scoreless from long range until late in the third quarter.
Zaumseil added 6 boards to go with his 14-point, 6-assist effort. Uplift had just one player in double figures as Jerrard Davis scored 10 to lead the Titans.