CRYSTAL LAKE – It comes as no surprise that Crystal Lake Central 6-foot-9 forward Alex Timmerman is the focal point of most opponents' game plan against the Tigers.
Even so, the Bucknell commit almost always finds a way to impact the game. Timmerman did so in a big way Friday, pouring in 20 points and grabbing 19 rebounds in Central’s 53-44 Fox Valley Conference win over Crystal Lake South.
“Every team has some scheme to do something to him: to take him off the glass, to not let him touch the ball, to double him when he catches it,” Central coach Rich Czeslawski said. “And he just does a really good job of adapting and figuring out what’s going to work.”
Central (11-4, 5-0 FVC) extended its winning streak to 10 and remains unbeaten in conference play.
“I would say we’re playing pretty well, learning each other’s games,” Timmerman said. “It’s always nice to put a streak together, and it’s always fun to come out and play your crosstown rivals and win.”
South (11-6, 3-3) didn’t have an answer for the big man inside. Timmerman had 11 points and seven rebounds by halftime.
“To me, he looked like he was on a mission,” South coach Matt LePage said. “He wanted the ball. When he got it, [he] was dropping that shoulder and getting to the rim. And he’s a force. At times we did good, and then there were times when it was like, ‘Gosh, that was really too easy for him.’”
Behind Timmerman’s 20 points, Lucas Seegers and C.J. Lerum each added nine points. Deonta Dungey scored eight off the bench.
Central jumped ahead by 11 points in the first half before South caught fire from 3-point range. Tyler Miller and Damir Glamoc each hit 3s to pull the Gators back even, 22-22, at halftime.
Miller wound up leading South with 13 points, Glamoc scored nine. Ben Geske and Matt Reall scored 10 apiece.
The Gators later went through a nearly seven-minute stretch without a field goal in the second half, allowing Central to build a cushion.
“It was all transition,” LePage said. “Bad shots, quick shots for us, turnovers for us back the other way. And they converted them.”
Central changed its defensive looks enough to keep South off balance.
“It’s fun to switch up the defenses because we have multiple,” Timmerman said. "Give them different looks and just be aggressive."
Although Timmerman dialed up an impressive performance, Czeslawski said he didn’t think the Tigers took care of the basketball very well overall. Central turned it over 18 times, although South almost matched it with 14 turnovers.
“South did a nice job of turning us over, but we also had a bunch of unforced ones that I didn’t like,” Czeslawski said. “I felt like we were a little sloppy, a little sluggish tonight, but I thought [South] had a lot to do with that.”
The Tigers cleaned it up enough to hold on for the win. Plus, Timmerman allowed South few second-chance points. Central shot 7 of 10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to close out the game.
STAR OF THE GAME
Alex Timmerman, Crystal Lake Central, sr., F
Timmerman led the Tigers with 20 points and 19 rebounds in a win over crosstown rival Crystal Lake South. Twelve of his rebounds came in the second half.
10: The Tigers have won 10 games in a row after starting the season 1-4.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage said it’s “not easy” game planning for the 6-foot-9 Timmerman.
“Everybody knows that he’s the center of what they do, but it’s still hard to execute against him,” LePage said.
Crystal Lake Central 53, Crystal Lake South 44
South 7 15 10 12 – 44
Central 16 6 13 12 – 53
CL SOUTH (44): Geske 5 0-0 10, Lawson 0 0-0 0, Reall 5 0-0 10, Miller 4 1-1 13, Haskin 0 0-2 0, Jewson 0 1-2 1, Gorken 0 0-0 0, Fischer 0 1-3 1, Glamoc 3 0-0 9. Totals: 17 3-8, 44.
3-point goals: 7 (Miller 4, Glamoc 3).
CL CENTRAL (53): Seegers 3 1-2 9, Welder 0 1-2 1, Cassell 2 0-0 4, Lerum 3 2-2 20, Timmerman 7 6-10 20, Mendoza 1 0-0 2, Williams 0 0-0 0, Dungey 3 1-2 8, Pokora 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 11-18 53.
3-point goals: 1 (Dungey 1).