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Maine East sophomore Abby George goes up for a basket over Guerin junior Joe Binkowski during the Battle at the Ridge basketball tournament at Northridge Prep High School in Niles on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Lethargy is often a factor at the beginning of games on the day after Thanksgiving, but Maine East sprinted out to an early lead in en rout to a 60-44 victory over Guerin Friday in the Battle at the Ridge tournament at Northridge.
The Blue Demons (1-2) have started fast in each of their three games this season. They continued that trend with a 21-6 start to Friday's game, and maintained their lead by limiting their turnovers and running their offensive sets to produce quality shots.
“I think they moved the ball well throughout the entire game,” Maine East coach Dave Genis said of his team. “We ran, actually, more of our stuff today than we have the last couple of games. It's them trying to get into our sets. They ran a lot more, they got a lot of shots out of it. (Adrian) Skorka hit some big shots. I think our energy in the game was good coming off a day of turkey and sitting around.”
The Blue Demons stretched their lead to 15 points in the second quarter thanks to senior Evan Nazzal, who hit three three-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 points and four rebounds. Skorka (11 points) scored seven points in the period.
The Gators (0-3), despite their slow start, managed to close Maine East's lead to 10 points in the third quarter. But senior Andrew Rangel missed a pair of free throws before Maine East padded its lead with a pair of layups on consecutive possessions.
“We didn't contest shooters,” Guerin coach Marcus Green said. “We missed a lot of easy shots. Our transition was absent. That was probably the biggest part. They had a lot of open looks at the basket, which was probably the reason they shot a high percentage. We shot a poor percentage because we turned the ball over a lot... and they were able to get easy looks and run-outs because of that.”
Junior Joe Binkowski led Guerin with eight points and four rebounds.