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Metea Valley smothers South Elgin
By Craig Brueske | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 12/8/2012 10:27 PM

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Metea Valley forced 17 turnovers, made 8 of its first 14 3-point attempts and had a pair of players reach double figures Saturday night.

And that was just the first half.

The Mustangs (4-4, 3-1) raced out to a 26-4 first-quarter advantage, led by 30 points at halftime and eventually cruised to a 78-33 Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division triumph over host South Elgin (2-6, 0-3).

Employing a full-court trapping defense, the Mustangs all but suffocated the Storm throughout the first quarter.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Melvin Meeks and Vin Patel in the opening minutes helped Metea Valley jump all over South Elgin, as the Mustangs began the game with a 16-0 surge.

“We knew they had a tough matchup last night with Bartlett so we wanted to kind of get all over them with our defense,” said Mustangs coach Bob Vozza.

They did just that, flying out to a 12-0 lead before the Storm could even manage a shot attempt — a span covering 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

“Before the game, our coach wanted to change defenses a lot so we played a full-court man and a trap,” said Patel. “We kept the other team back on their heels.”

The Mustangs also blistered the nets, hitting 6 of their first 8 3-point shots. Patel, who scored a team-high 14 points in a little more than 2 quarters of playing time, led the way by connecting on all 4 of his 3-point attempts.

“We were ready to play,” said Patel. “Our intensity was up, our defense was up, and our shots were going in as well.”

“We’ve had runs like that the last couple games but not a start like that,” said Vozza. “It was nice to see because we preached that all week.”

Midway through the second quarter, Patel had doubled South Elgin’s entire offensive output, 14-7.

Metea Valley led 47-17 at halftime.

“It’s the lack of effort,” said South Elgin coach Chaz Taft. “Forty-seven points and we can’t even start talking about X’s and O’s or breaking down the zone. You need to play with heart, passion, enthusiasm and aggression on every single possession.

“They jumped out to a 10-0 lead right away but you can’t get down because you’ve got almost a whole game left. If we had an experienced team, that kind of changes things a little bit but we don’t so they don’t know how to battle back from that yet.”

Sean Davis and Meeks scored 13 points apiece for the Mustangs, while backup point guard Conner Archey added 10 points.

Led by Archey, Devin Flowers (8 points), and Shiv Desai (5 points, 5 rebounds), Metea Valley’s reserves amassed 36 points — 3 more than South Elgin’s final total.

“It’s encouraging to have that depth,” said Vozza. “It’s nice to have those opportunities and those situations where you can go to them. At halftime, we told them to try to start over, try to get better and get ready for next week.

“We’ve got a tough week with St. Charles East and Waubonsie (Valley),” added Vozza.

Freshman guard Matt Smith had 8 points for South Elgin.

“I’m trying to stay positive and keep them going,” said Taft. “You’ve got to get through this.”