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Montini deals St. Edward first loss
By Kevin McGavin | Daily Herald Correspondent

St. Edward’s Nick Duffy pivots around a block by Montini’s Brian Orr in the second quarter on Wednesday.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

St. Edward’s Davontae Elam goes up for a shot past Montini’s Jack Brady in the second quarter on Wednesday at Aurora Christian.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/28/2012 9:04 PM

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The Montini boys basketball team has taken a page from its four-time defending state basketball team.

Wednesday night at the Burney Wilkey Classic, a five-team post-Thanksgiving tournament hosted by Aurora Christian, the Broncos were a defensive force.

St. Edward came in with all the momentum after opening the nascent season on a five-game winning streak.

But the Green Wave had no answer for the Broncos, who never trailed in a 52-39 victory.

St. Edward was limited to single digits in both the first and third quarters and nearly had as many points (17) as it did in the first three combined (22).

“I don’t know what happened (offensively),” St. Edward coach P.J. White said. “I thought we had good shots. They just didn’t go in.”

Logan Goss and Simmie Cobbs were the principal thorns for the Green Wave.

Goss, a fluid point guard, and Cobbs, a senior transfer from Oak Park-River Forest, scored 16 points apiece as the Broncos improved to 2-0 while handing the Green Wave (5-1) its first loss.

“We just know that defense wins games,” said Cobbs, who also matched Goss’ twin 3-pointers. “I just wanted to contribute to the ‘W.’ I’m glad (my teammates) were unselfish and passed me the ball.”

Goss’ initial 3-pointer, early in the opening quarter, was part of a Broncos’ quarter-closing run of 13-4 that gave Montini a 15-6 lead.

Receiving contributions from its much-deeper bench, Montini steadily pulled away as St. Edward did not reach double digits until almost midway through the second quarter.

With Goss running the floor with efficiency and alertness and Cobbs’ play flowing seamlessly between the post and perimeter, St. Edward was hit with another 10-2 quarter close by Montini to trail 27-18 at the intermission.

“I am very proud of our team,” Montini coach Brian Opaka said. “We are clearly behind (other local programs due to football and not having a traditional Thanksgiving tournament). Our kids paid the price (in recent practices).”

The offensive outlook for St. Edward was further crippled in the third quarter; Nick Duffy, who led the Green Wave with 13 points, had the lone field goals for St. Edward in the third on a free-throw line jumper and a driving score in the final minute.

With Goss connecting on both his field-goal attempts for Montini, the Broncos suddenly found themselves with a 39-22 cushion entering the final period.

“Our key was to play defense and not worry about offense until we were on offense,” Goss said. “We got some points off turnovers. I think it’s a positive (to not have a Thanksgiving tournament).”

St. Edward had a 10-2 run to open the third to reduce its deficit to 9 points, but Goss responded with 4 quick points; the Green Wave never came with single figures again.

Davontae Elam added 10 points for St. Edward.