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Oswego East's CJ Vaughan, left, brings the ball up court against Romeoville's Jimmy Moon during their game at Oswego East High School on Tuesday, February 5, 2013. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Oswego East’s boys basketball team made its mark at the start of every quarter in Tuesday’s 70-49 Southwest Prairie win over Romeoville.
The Wolves held Romeoville scoreless in the first three minutes of the first and second quarters and the first four minutes of the third quarter. They then held the Spartans without a field goal for the first five minutes of the fourth. In those 15 minutes of play, Oswego East outscored the Spartans by a staggering 40-2 to fuel the win.
“We just tried to slow the game down on offense but speed it up on defense and that worked real well for us,” Oswego East senior CJ Vaughan said. “That really takes the pressure off the half-court game. We were able to get easy baskets, which we’ve been lacking lately.”
Vaughan scored 10 quick points to help stake Oswego East (10-12 overall, 6-5 SPC) to a 16-4 lead out of the gates. Vaughan and Manny Contreras each hit three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run to open the second quarter, pushing the lead to 33-14.
Coming out of the half, however, the Wolves really blew up. A 16-0 run started the third, keyed by 11 Vaughan points, pushing the lead to 55-26. Oswego East opened the fourth on a 7-2 run to open a 70-38 lead, the largest of the game.
“They played us real tough at their place, to their credit,” Oswego East coach Ron Murphy said of Romeoville (4-19, 0-11). “Their kids play hard. We knew we had to come out with some more energy and get after it early. We did that.”
Vaughn shot 5-of-8 from both two-point range and three-point range en route to a game-high 29 points. In the process, he joined Jay Harris and Lionel Holmes as the third Oswego East player to reach 1,000 career points.
“I’m excited that I made it past that point,” Vaughan said. “It’s in the season and I still just have to focus on getting better. That means a lot, but I still have to get better.”
Murphy was happy to see his star player reach that milestone, but knows that his impact on the program is more than just points scored.
“It speaks to how hard he works,” Murphy said. “I think people don’t necessarily understand all of the things he does for us. Even when he’s not shooting real well, he’s our leading rebounder, there are times when he guards their best player, and I think that is important. The 1,000 points are great because he’s done that all along.”
Domas Zdanevicius led Romeoville with 13 points and nine rebounds in the loss. Sophomore call-up Josh Krueger added 13 points off the bench. Oswego East junior Mike McAllister helped key the defensive pressure with eight of the Wolves’ 21 steals in the win.