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02/06/2013 Elgin St. Edward junior Davontae Elam (20) drives to the net during the home game against Marian Central on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
St. Edward was better at home Wednesday against Marian Central on defense with its foot pressed down on the accelerator and on offense with the foot eased off.
In the first half the Green Wave took advantage of that ideal scenario to charge out to a 36-20 halftime lead before sputtering down the stretch to a routine 60-48 Suburban Christian Gold victory.
“I think the key to our game against this team was our pressure, and when we went up 17 I really didn’t think we should be pressing,” St. Edward coach P.J. White said. “I didn’t think it was appropriate.
“So we kind of sat back in our zone and let them hang around a little bit.”
Marian Central managed to shave a 16-point third-quarter deficit to 12, and then got within 11 to start the fourth quarter, but a three-point play by Dan Favela and layup after a Marian Central turnover by Devontae Elam pushed it back up again. The lead got as big as 21 in the fourth quarter, before Marian Central’s reserves made it look respectable.
“Part of our problem in the (second half) was we were going too fast on offense,” White said. “We weren’t really trying to run an offense. We were coming down and putting up a shot after a couple dribbles.”
When the Green Wave had it going good in the first half, the game quickly got out of hand. Two players who don’t usually lead the team in scoring did — John Butzow with 15 and Favela with 13, and six Green Wave players had six points or more.
In the first half, St. Edward scored 16 points off the 11 turnovers it forced and had 12 points off layups.
St. Edward had a 16-7 lead after a quarter, and Butzow finished the first half with 11 points. Point guard Antonio Domel netted all nine of his points in the first half and the Green Wave went into the locker room shooting 64 percent from the floor (15-of-22). They finished at 51 percent (22-of-45) after pressing down on the offensive accelerator but easing off the defensive accelerator in the second half.
“We ran the offense early,” White said. “I’ve been trying to tell them the more you let the game come to you the easier it gets. The more you try to force it, the harder it becomes.
“I just think we were trying to force it a little too bit (in the second half).”
Tommy Waytula led Marian Central (3-23, 2-8) in scoring with 10 points, all in the second half.
The win left the Green Wave (19-5, 8-2) a game behind Montini and Immaculate Conception in the Suburban Christian Gold with two left.