CRYSTAL LAKE – Dundee-Crown played composed and efficient offense that belied its record.
The Chargers made shots from all over – four 3-pointers in the first quarter and free throws throughout the game – to take control against Crystal Lake South.
And when things got a little dicey in the fourth quarter, guard Kiwaun Seals set up residence at the free-throw line and kept it at least a two-possession game.
Seals finished with 21 points, hitting 14 of 17 free throws, as D-C defeated South, 57-50, in their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball game Tuesday night at Gator Alley.
“We spaced the floor and made an extra pass when a man was open, and made some big plays, got a lot of open shots,” said Seals, a 6-foot-1 junior. “Coach is always telling me to get in there, jump-stop, and get [to the line]. I gathered myself and got there. After a couple, I was feeling it.”
Seals scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and hit nine consecutive free throws to help the Chargers (6-14 overall, 2-7 FVC Valley) hang on.
D-C forward Nick Munson hit two early 3s that helped put the Chargers up, 8-4, and they never trailed again. They hit 51.9 percent from the field (14 of 27), 75 percent from the line (24 of 32) and committed nine turnovers.
“We focused on spacing the floor a lot and making simple plays and not trying to force anything,” Munson said. “We feed off each other a lot, so once someone gets hot other players get hot as well.”
Chargers coach Lance Huber said it was one of his team’s decision-making games.
“Sometimes we rush things, but we did a better job keeping our composure and not settling for a shot they wanted us to take, but getting the ones we wanted to take,” Huber said. “We were able to not let their pressure force us into quick shots and we were able to get some good ones.”
The Gators (14-8, 3-6) fell behind 36-22 early in the third quarter after Seals hit a 3, but narrowed the gap to 41-36 by the end of the third quarter. Caleb Johnson started the fourth with a 3 for South and the teams traded baskets for a few minutes.
With D-C ahead, 44-42, Cordero Parson and Seals both scored inside and South did not get closer than four points in the last five minutes.
“They got it to the right guy, we overhelped at times and No. 15 [Munson] got loose,” Gators coach Matt LePage said. “He’s a good shooter and we were worried about him coming in. They made big shots, early, to gain confidence and when we needed them to get our confidence back, we just missed them. We were right there. You have to make [those shots] in your own gym.”
D-C was 5 of 9 on 3s, while South hit 3 of 18.
Parson finished with 10 points and Munson had eight for the Chargers. Collin Wagner led the Gators with 14 points and Johnson added 11.
“Our guys did a good job early defensively and we kind of held them off at the end when they made the rally,” Huber said. “We has just to always keep the lead.”