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Maine South knew what it had to do to slow down Glenbard East.
“Our scouting report said they shoot between 25-30 [three-pointers] a game, but they also get half their points on threes and half in the lane,” Maine South coach Tony Lavorato Jr. said. “We knew we had to stop their penetration and not let them attack us in the lane.”
The Hawks utilized two dominant third-quarter runs to break open a tied score at halftime and overcame some poor fourth-quarter free-throw shooting for the 60-51 second-round Proviso West Holiday tournament victory in Hillside Thursday.
Maine South advances to play Stevenson, another first-time entrant in the expanded tournament, in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Andrew Palucki scored 15 points in pacing three double-figure scorers for the Hawks (11-1). The junior guard combined with sophomore sharpshooter Caleb DeMarigny to dramatically alter the game in the third quarter.
With the game tied at 25 at the break, DeMarigny drilled two three-pointers that ignited an 11-2 Maine South run for a 36-27 lead. “They were starting to sag on Andrew and he kicked it out to me and I was open and fortunately I hit the shots,” he said.
Glenbard East (8-3) countered by scoring five straight points, sparked by a Marvin Grant-Clark three-pointer, to pull within four points. Palucki engineered the second dramatic run by drilling a three-pointer from the left wing at the third quarter buzzer for a commanding 45-32 Maine South edge.
“I think during those runs we had excellent possessions, of three, four or five guys touching the ball and we had very crisp movement was very good,” Lavorato Jr. said. “We also had some offensive rebounds and that gave us extra possessions.”
Palucki admitted to being notably more aggressive in how he attacked the Rams’ interior offense. “They were giving me the baseline and that gave me space to drive and make plays,” he said.
Senior forward John Solari shook off a slow start to post a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Quinn contributed 14 points and Frank Dounis added eight points and eight rebounds for the Hawks.
Senior guard Tahron Harvey scored a game-high 20 points. Take away his 7-for-14 shooting and the Rams shot just 12-for-39. Glenbard East made just 7-for-30 three-pointers. “I’m an unselfish player, and I was trying to get my teammates involved and give them confidence out there,” Harvey said.
Maine South converted only 10-of-20 free throws in the fourth quarter. Glenbard East closed a 13-point deficit to 55-51 with 1:36 on Grant-Clark’s three-pointer. Clark and Solari split free throws and the Hawks shut the Rams out the balance of the game.
Grant-Clark scored 11 points and Mike Kjeldsen added eight points for the Rams.