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Like a young dog off its leash, the Plainfield North Tigers ran and ran at Oswego East Tuesday night. Scoring in transition, the Tigers earned a bone with a 74-67 Southwest Prairie victory over the Wolves.
Four different Tigers scored in double figures as Plainfield North topped the 20-point mark in three different quarters. Trevor Stumpe led the Tigers, who improved to 8-12 overall and 6-3 in league play, with 19 points while Marcus Fair netted 18 points and five assists. Corey Evak tallied 16 points and seven rebounds, and Jake Nowak added 11 points and seven rebounds.
C.J. Vaughn, who scored a game-high 24 points while grabbing 12 rebounds, pulled the Wolves within four points, 67-63, when he sank a pair of free throws at the 1:07 mark. But Stumpe answered with two makes from the charity stripe and a steal that led to a fastbreak layup for Nowak to ice the game.
“We’ve been doing a good job running,” said Plainfield North coach Nick DiForti. “And they did a good job in their transition too for a good part of the game. It was a big game for both teams.
“We’re starting to play a lot better, and playing the way we wanted our kids to play,” continued DiForti. “I’m really proud of how we’re playing right now.”
The Tigers overcame a 34-31 halftime deficit with 21 points in the third quarter. Fair poured in 11 points in the stanza, including a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 52-47 advantage heading into the final frame.
Oswego East (9-11, 5-4) battled back, but was unable to get over the hump. The Wolves misfired on 12 of 18 from the floor in the fourth quarter and six of 11 from the free throw line.
“They beat us in transition, and we weren’t even good in the half court,” said Oswego East coach Ron Murphy. “When you give up 74 points, you’re not going to win many basketball games.”
Stumpe helped the Tigers forge a 22-16 lead after eight minutes when he collected 10 points including a pair of treys. Kendall Dorsey paced the Wolves with nine points in the first frame including a couple of old fashioned three-point plays. Four long balls in the second period pushed the Wolves ahead. Vaughn knocked down two triples while Manny Contreras and Mike McAllister each sank one.
“In the fourth quarter we were playing strong, but mental lapses hurt,” Vaughn explained. “We trapped the ball, but didn’t have good rotation; and they pushed the ball over the top and scored easy layups.”