MARENGO – What the Sycamore boys basketball team lacked in offensive artistry Friday night, the Spartans certainly made up for with pesky defense.
The Spartans swarmed Woodstock North enough to build an early cushion and got plenty from Devin Mottet, who scored a game-high 21 points in a convincing 57-41 victory to propel Sycamore into the championship game of the E.C. Nichols Tournament Saturday night.
Sycamore (9-4) will face Wauconda, which overwhelmed Marengo, 63-33, in Friday night’s other semifinal.
“We’re going to have our hands full, that’s for sure,” said Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy, whose team knocked off Wauconda, 46-44, a week ago on a last-second basket.
Sycamore frustrated Woodstock North, forcing the Thunder to rush offensive possessions, which translated to easy transition baskets. Mottet was often the beneficiary – scoring 18 points in the first half when he nearly outproduced the Thunder, who managed only 20 points.
Nick Feuerbach added 10 points for the Spartans in the win.
But it all started with defense.
“That’s always a focus with us,” Stacy said. “Obviously, we didn’t have the greatest offensive night so we always want to rely on our defense to get us through.”
Cogs rebound at Plano: Genoa-Kingston rebounded from Thursday’s loss with a 53-41 win over Yorkville.
Adam Price led the Cogs with 18 points while Sal Lopez chipped in 15 and Mason Lucca added 11.
G-K outscored Yorkville, 13-4, in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Foxes.
G-K will play Wilmington at 10 a.m. today for 13th place.
Indian Creek falls: The Timberwolves lost to Wilmington, 72-63, at the Plano Christmas Classic.
Garrison Govig had 22 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Jaron Todd had 15 points while Kyle Lieving dished out 12 assists. Tyler Reynolds also added 12 points for the Timberwolves.
Indian Creek will play Yorkville at 8:30 a.m. today for 15th place.
H-BR edges Morris: Hinckley-Big Rock hung on for a 44-41 victory over Morris in the consolation bracket of the Plano Christmas Classic.
Jared Madden and Bernie Conley led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points each. Michael Bayler had nine points and nine rebounds for the Royals.
H-BR will play Seneca in the fifth-place game today at 5:30 p.m.
Kaneland loses in semis: The Knights lost to Ottawa, 60-50, in the semifinals of the Plano Christmas Classic.
Kaneland will play for third place against Aurora Christian at 7 p.m. today.
H-BR downs Hiawatha: In a tournament matchup of the two Little Ten Conference rivals, Hinckley-Big Rock ran away from Hiawatha, 38-21, at the Prophetstown tournament.
Lauren Paver led the way with nine points while Jacqueline Madden, Abbie Tosch and Bridgette Edmeier added six each.
The Royals (8-7) will play at 6 p.m. today in the third-place game.
Indian Creek hangs on: After losing in overtime Thursday, the Timberwolves were on the winning end of an overtime game Friday. Indian Creek hung on for a 56-53 win over Ashton-Franklin Center.
Samantha Mosley had 20 points and Ariel Russell chipped in 15.
“We let go of a 16-point lead and were actually trailing with 13 seconds to go and broke the press finally,” Indian Creek coach Paul Muchmore said. “Samantha made a layup to tie the game. We got into overtime, hit a big three to start it and then held on.”
Indian Creek (6-8) will play in the third-place game of the Amboy tournament today at 6 p.m.
• Jeff Arnold contributed to this report.