CARPENTERSVILLE — Dundee-Crown forward Brad Stec rose high into the air for a defensive rebound with the Chargers leading Crystal Lake South by seven points with just over two minutes to go.
On the other end of the floor, he rose up again, corralling a teammate’s missed shot and putting it back in for two points, all but putting the game out of reach.
Stec found the ball in his hands again and again Friday night, scoring 20 points and pulling in 15 rebounds for D-C in a 55-46 win over South.
“He was amazing,” D-C coach Lance Huber said. “He played as well as he’s played all year. He’s just steady, he does what you ask, he goes up with two hands and gets it, finishes around the basket. Nothing much rattles him. He put it all together tonight, it was nice to see for Brad.”
The Chargers dominated the glass and held South to 25 percent shooting for the game. At times, it seemed as if D-C (10-11, 6-4 Fox Valley Conference) was coming up with every loose ball.
“That was one of our key points at the beginning of the game, we had to crash the offensive glass and go for the 50-50 balls, get on the floor,” Stec said.
Behind Stec’s 20 points, Jack Orndahl scored 10 points and Josh Raby scored eight off the bench.
For South (8-12, 4-6), Jack Murphy scored a team-high 16 points off the bench, including four 3-pointers. Ben Geske scored 11 points and Kyle Leva scored seven and grabbed seven rebounds.
After an even first quarter, D-C pulled ahead by nine at halftime following a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Orndahl to end the second quarter.
Following halftime, the Chargers drew a technical foul that turned into a five-point swing in favor of the Gators. Then after a 3 from Blake Kuffel, South had cut D-C’s lead to one within the first two minutes of the second half.
“We were in a good place there middle of the third quarter,” South coach Matt LePage said. “I thought we took a couple quick shots that got us in trouble back in transition.
“They crushed us inside in the fourth quarter. Five field goals in the paint to our one in the fourth quarter.”
South never did tie the game in the second half.
D-C’s Raby scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter. Raby made a 3-pointer to extend the Chargers’ lead to seven midway through the quarter, then moments later he scored a basket and drew a foul for a three-point play.
Raby usually comes in off the bench for Stec or big man Gabe Bergeron.
“My main role is not really to score, it’s more to play for the team,” Raby said. “That’s what I come in off the bench to do. When I’m open, I’m going to let it fly. … I just was open tonight and I made the most of my opportunities.”
On a night when Bergeron, one of the Chargers’ top scorers, contributed only two points, Stec and Raby stepped up. Raby was impressed with Stec’s performance.
“I feel like any kid can step up on this team and come in when our leading scorers aren’t contributing,” Raby said. “We have the talent to do that. Brad did a great job tonight sealing his man, getting open looks.”
STAR OF THE GAME
Brad Stec, Dundee-Crown, Jr., F
Stec scored 20 points in the Chargers’ win over Crystal Lake South. The 6-foot-5 forward also pulled in 15 rebounds for a double-double.
15: South attempted 15 more shots than D-C, but the Chargers were more efficient, shooting 55 percent from the field and finding ways into the paint.
AND ANOTHER THING …
D-C big man Gabe Bergeron scored only two points. It wasn’t because he wasn’t playing well (Bergeron shot 1 for 1 from the field), but more so because Stec was a monster inside.
“Gabe was great on the bench,” coach Lance Huber said. “He was awesome cheering his teammates on. He’s a great teammate, great kid.”
Dundee-Crown 55, Crystal Lake South 46
Crystal Lake South 17 5 11 13 — 46
Dundee-Crown 17 14 6 18 — 55
CRYSTAL LAKE SOUTH (46): Geske 2 5-6 11, Lawson 0 0-0 0, Fischer 1 2-3 4, Leva 3 1-1 7, Kuffel 2 0-0 6, Reall 0 2-4 2, Murphy 5 2-2 16, Jimenez 0 0-0 0, Jenkins 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 12-16 46.
3-point goals: 8 (Murphy 4, Geske 2, Kuffel 2).
DUNDEE-CROWN (55): Butler 2 0-1 4, Orndahl 3 1-3 10, Hairston 2 2-4 6, Stec 9 2-2 20, Bergeron 1 0-1 2, Raby 3 1-2 8, Hatcher 1 0-0 3, Michalski 0 2-2 2, Parreno 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 8-15 55.
3-point goals: 5 (Orndahl 3, Raby 1, Hatcher 1).