WOODSTOCK — Marian Central boys basketball coach Curtis Price believes that point guard Adam Pischke is one of the best at his position in the area and the sophomore backed up his coach's words on Monday.
Pischke scored a game-high 23 points in a 70-54 win over Harvard in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A Woodstock Regional.
"He's the man," Price said of Pischke. "He's a real good high school basketball player. He's right up there with Chrishawn Orange from Jacobs.
"I think, if he's not the best point guard in the area, he's the second best. We ride him all the time and he is always up to the challenge."
The third-seeded Hurricanes (16-15 overall) needed every bit of Pischke's magic on the court to pull away from an aggressive Hornets team that played a hounding defense.
Pischke scored at least three points in each quarter and went an impressive 15 of 16 from the free-throw line. Normally the sophomore takes a lot of 3s but, on Monday, he attempted just two, opting for drives to the basket instead.
His acrobatic finishes drew cheers from the crowd and head shakes from the Hornets players.
"I just felt like they were leaving the lane open," Pischke said. "So I took it to the hole and tried to get going down there."
His 10 second-quarter points sparked an otherwise sluggish Marian team as it went into halftime with a 30-21 lead. The Hurricanes hadn't played a game since Feb. 21 and Price expected a slow start.
But after a talk at halftime about playing better basketball, the Hurricanes held the Hornets (11-18) to eight points in the third while scoring 22 themselves.
"The third quarter we wanted to establish ourselves and we did," Price said. "We held them to [8 points] and got our offense going."
Harvard tried to make a comeback in the second half but most of their starters were in foul trouble early, which was a problem when the Hornets had to be aggressive during key stretches late in the game.
"We played a little timid because of our foul trouble," Hornets coach Donnie Nelson said. "I think that took our edge off and that's what we needed just to stay with them."
Justin Nolen led the Hornets with 15 points including an impressive 3-for-3 stretch from behind the arc spanning the first two quarters.
The Hurricanes play at 8 p.m. Tuesday against second-seeded Hampshire in the semifinal game.