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Dundee-Crown's Trent Muscat (right) is fouled by Crystal Lake South's Austin Rogers on Tuesday. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Dundee-Crown built a big first-half lead and weathered a third-quarter comeback to top host Crystal Lake South 62-42 on Tuesday night in Fox Valley Valley play.
The Chargers (12-5, 3-2) put together a terrific all-around first half, shooting 15-of-30 from the floor and holding the Gators (6-11, 1-4) to just 15 points.
Despite having no regular taller than 6-foot-3, Dundee-Crown scored at will in the paint in the first half as good ball movement and patience gave it open looks time and again.
“First half, we were moving the ball around really well and got everyone involved,” said Chargers senior Trent Muscat. “Coach has been stressing to get the ball in the paint as much as we can, and tonight that really helped us.”
The Chargers entered the break leading 34-15, and took their biggest lead of the night when Muscat hit a short jumper to open the second half.
After the teams traded baskets, the Gators finally put together a solid stretch offensively, rattling off a 10-0 run capped by back-to-back three-pointers from Max Meitzler and Alex Bartusch.
That made it 38-27, the closest the score had been since it was 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Gators managed to close it to 40-31 entering the fourth quarter as they outscored the Chargers 16-6 in the third, holding Dundee-Crown to just 3-of-11 shooting.
“In the second half we tried to speed them up and get quicker possessions going and it favored us for a little bit,” said Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage. “The game kind of slowed down for them in the fourth quarter again though and that was really our one shot at them there in the third.”
The Chargers indeed took control back in the fourth, scoring the first nine points of the quarter with a Dylan Kissack three-pointer serving as the exclamation point.
“We came out and made a lot of shots to start off the quarter, got a couple easy baskets to get back some confidence and momentum, and just kind of took it home from there,” said Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber.
Muscat led the Chargers with 15 points, and he was joined in double figures by Kissack, who had 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Austin Rogers led the Gators with 10 points and Nick Geske chipped in eight points and six rebounds.
DUNDEE-CROWN 62, CRYSTAL LAKE SOUTH 42
Dundee Crown (12-5, 2-2)
Beasley 2 3-4 7, J. Buckley 1 0-0 2, Kissack 6 0-0 14, Muscat 6 3-6 15, Rodriguez 4 1-2 9, Parson 1 2-2 4, Conley 2 0-0 4, Pochop 1 2-3 4, Crenshaw 1 0-0 2, Williams 0 1-2 1, Totals 24 12-19 62.
Crystal Lake South (6-11, 1-4)
Bartusch 2 0-0 5, Schiller 3 0-2 7, Rogers 5 0-2 10, Geske 4 0-1 8, Meitzler 1 4-4 7, Johnson 1 0-1 3, Mahoney 0 2-2 2, Totals 16 6-12 42.
D-C 17 17 6 22 -- 62
CLS 7 8 16 11 -- 42
Three-point goals: Dundee Crown (2): Kissack 2. Crystal Lake South (4): Bartusch 1, Schiller 1, Meitzler 1, Johnson 1. Fouled Out: Dundee Crown: None. Crystal Lake South: Bartusch.