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Homewood-Flossmoor's Sydni Johnson drives around Lincoln-Way Central's Sami Wisniewski Monday night in New Lenox. photo for Sun-Times Media by Jean Lachat
Tired, flat, sluggish, lethargic.
Pick any adjective what you want, but Homewood-Flossmoor’s first-half effort just wasn’t up to par Monday at Lincoln-Way Central.
“We just weren’t playing hard,” H-F’s Sydni Johnson said. “That’s what it came down to. We didn’t warm-up like we’re supposed to, and our lack of focus wasn’t there.”
Shaking off the less than impressive first half showing, Homewood-Flossmoor outscored Central 21-0 in the third quarter on the way to a 56-20 SouthWest Suburban Blue win Monday.
Johnson finished with 18 points for H-F (16-9, 10-3) with Jaiveonna Norris (nine points) and Amani Davis (eight points) chipping in.
Committing nine turnovers and hitting just 7-of-26 shots, the Vikings led 19-13 at halftime.
“We just weren’t executing,” H-F coach Dana Noble said. “In that third quarter, we finally put it together.”
Sparked by their defense, a different Vikings team took the floor in the third. The defensive effort forced eight turnovers that led to six fast break buckets and held Lincoln-Way Central scoreless in the frame.
The host Knights missed all nine of their field goal attempts in the third. Eight of H-F’s 10 third quarter baskets came in the lane with Johnson scoring 10 points overall.
“We just had to wake up,” Johnson said. “That effort isn’t going to cut it in the playoffs. There’s not much Coach Noble can say. We just have to do it.”
Homewood-Flossmoor finished 23-of-61 from the field to Lincoln-Way Central’s 9-of-37. Central (9-14, 4-9) was led by Sami Wisniewski’s six points.
The Knights were held scoreless for 11-plus minutes over the second, third and fourth quarters.
“We’re down six at the half to a good team, and then the wheels come off,” Central coach Chris Fetherling said. “They did a good job turning up the pressure on us, and we just struggled to score in the second half.”