McHenry notches 1st Valley win
McHENRY – McHenry committed a few more turnovers (16) than it would have liked.
And it certainly could have done a better job at the free-throw line than 2 of 8.
Yet the Warriors were able to rely on their best friend, the 3-point shot, to overcome those deficiencies.
McHenry made 3s early and often as it held off Cary-Grove, 63-58, in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball game Wednesday night. The Warriors (8-8 overall, 1-3 FVC Valley) picked up their first division win by tearing it up from the field – 25 of 42 overall (59.5 percent) and 11 of 25 on 3s (44 percent).
Damian Zalewski hit 7 of 8 in the first half, with three 3s, and led McHenry with 19 points. Greg Johnson and Shane Varvil also had three 3s apiece.
“It’s all about how we get to the basket,” Johnson said. “Ryan Skinner drives the lane and gets those kick-out 3s all the time and really gets us going. And when we get those post touches to Damian and then he’ll fan out. Getting the 3s really stems from them.”
McHenry is shooting 35.8 percent for the season on 3s. Varvil leads the Warriors with 39, while Johnson has 30.
“We knew coming in that shooting the basketball would be a strength,” Warriors coach Tim Paddock said. “Unfortunately, when we don’t hit those it doesn’t look good. But we have a lot of guys who can shoot.”
Varvil hit two in the first quarter and Zalewski had three by halftime as C-G (9-8, 1-3) had only one lead, 7-6, in the game.
“We felt good coming out,” Zalewski said. “Shane always hits them. If we play like that, it’s amazing.”
McHenry twice built its lead to 13 points, then the Trojans made runs of their own. But each time, the Warriors answered, usually with a 3.
“Coach keeps saying, ‘Someone has to make a play,’ ”
said Zalewski, who added 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and seven assists.
C-G cut the lead to 50-45 at the end of the third quarter, but could not get closer than that.
“They shoot 3s whether they’re up or down,” Trojans coach Ralph Schuetzle said. “They keep shooting. It was the little things we didn’t do. And we just weren’t able to knock down enough shots. They did their damage with 3s, we did our damage with 2s.”
Tyler Szydlo led C-G with 17 points, Dean Lee added 14 and Jason Gregoire had 10.
McHenry is averaging 7.3 3s a game and has a season-high of 18 against Round Lake.
“Running and shooting is what we have to do,” Paddock said. “When it’s going in, it’s really fun.”