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There’s so much talk about good team chemistry among St. Charles North’s players this season that it almost seems they should wear lab coats rather than basketball uniforms.
The North Stars were completely together again as a team Thursday night and put together a 45-36 victory in the Upstate Eight River over a Streamwood team that was coming in off an upset of previously unbeaten Larkin two nights earlier.
“I think the biggest thing for us is just team chemistry, from the 16th person on our bench to the first person on the floor,” said Stars senior guard Quinten Payne, who led North with 11 points.
St. Charles North had times in recent years when it struggled playing together as a team, but Thursday it had eight players score. The Stars bench outscored Larkin’s 14-4, essentially making for the difference in the game.
“I haven’t been on a team with this much chemistry before,” said senior reserve Ryan Thomas. “It’s unbelievable. We’re together in everything we do. We’ve just got to keep it up.”
It was Thomas who stunned Streamwood (3-3, 1-1) by coming off the bench to score nine second-quarter points, including a three-pointer to end an 8-0 run that left the Stars (4-1, 1-0) up 18-11. North never trailed again, and went in at halftime up 24-19.
“He’s a coach’s dream,” Stars coach Tom Poulin said about Thomas. “He’s the hard hat, lunch bucket type of guy who sets screens and dives on the floor. He does exactly what you ask him to do.”
In the third quarter, four different Stars scored and they continued to play defense well enough to limit Streamwood to six points. Down 35-25 after three quarters, the Sabres never made a run and couldn’t get it below double figures in the fourth quarter until the final minute.
“I don’t know if we thought we could just walk on the floor and play,” Sabres coach Tim Jones said. “In this division, this conference, you’ve got to play hard every night and you’ve got to play tough.
“I thought for the most part, we were all right. We just couldn’t score. They dictated that because they did a very good job defensively. We couldn’t run anything.”
The Stars held the Sabres to 36 shot attempts for the game and 39 percent shooting (14-of-36). Only Zack Harris, with 11 points, and Vince Williams, with 10, had much impact for a taller Streamwood team that was also outrebounded 30-23 by the Stars.
“I thought defensively we did a lot better job of putting some pressure on them in the third quarter,” Poulin said. “We kind of were doubling them at times and I thought we did a good job in our man to man as well.
“In our four wins this year, we’ve played real well defensively just in man to man.”
Alec Goetz had nine points and Kyle Swanson seven for the Stars.
“We just didn’t try to get the ball inside, didn’t move the ball and we tried to run a couple things,” Jones said. “We just didn’t execute very well and they outplayed us.”
ST. CHARLES NORTH 45, STREAMWOOD 36
St. Charles North (4-1, 1-0)
Alec Goetz 3 1-2 9, Quinten Payne 4 1-3 11, Tony Neari 0 1-2 1, Kyle Swanson 2 2-4 6, Justin Stanko 1 2-2 4, Jake Ludwig 1 0-0 2, Jack Callaghan 1 0-0 3, Ryan Thomas 4 0-0 9. Totals 16 7-15 45.
Streamwood (3-3, 1-1)
Jacob Siewert 1 0-0 3, Vince Williams 4 2-3 10, Joel Lightbourne 2 0-0 4, Cole Seger 1 0-0 2, Zach Harris 4 2-4 11, Trevious Norman 2 0-2 4, Pat Seger 0 2-2 2. Totals 14 6-11 36.
St. Charles North 10 14 11 9 -- 45
Streamwood 8 11 6 11 -- 36
Three-point field goals: St. Charles North (6) -- Goetz 2, Payne 2, Callaghan 1, Thomas 1. Streamwood (2) -- Harris 1, Siewert 1.