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Sycamore opens Strombom tournament with big win over Sandwich

SYCAMORE – Throughout preseason practice, Sycamore was missing nine of its players because of their duties with the Spartans’ football team.

One would think with that being the case, the Sycamore boys basketball team wouldn’t have a ton of continuity heading into Monday’s opening game of the Leland G. Strombom Tournament.

But the Spartans didn’t look like a team that hadn’t even held a practice with a full team, beating the Indians, 73-39.

“I thought we were going to have some rust to shake off, but I was really surprised at how we played,” said senior Cooper Vinz, one of the Spartans not on the football team. “We made some mistakes that we probably shouldn’t have, but for the first game back and them not being here, only being at two practices, I’d say it was pretty good.”

Sycamore (1-0) coach Andrew Stacy held a walkthrough Sunday, and had a short practice Monday morning. He gave the football players, who ended their season Saturday with a loss at Montini in the Class 5A semifinals, the option if they wanted to suit up Monday night.

Devin Mottet, Jake Winters and Nick Feuerbach were out there for the Spartans’ season opener. Senior forward Ben Niemann didn’t play but Stacy said he still was banged up from football.

Sycamore scored 14 points in the first quarter and led Sandwich (0-1) 40-13 at halftime. The Indians had no answer for the Spartans’ three-point shooting, as Sycamore drained 12 threes.

Vinz led Sycamore with 14 points, while Devin Mottet had 12 and Logan Wright finished with 10.

Due to a lack of bodies up until Sunday, Stacy was forced to pull some younger players up to practice with the varsity just so he could hold a 5-on-5 scrimmage.

“They really helped us out to get us going,” Vinz said. “It was tough because there were no breaks, but I think it kind of helped us in the long run to give our team better depth and stuff.”

Sycamore played 41 games over the summer, something Stacy said will benefit his group in the long run. He did say it will probably take the football players a month to get into basketball shape.

The Spartans’ season continues in the Strombom tournament Wednesday at 8 p.m. against Hampshire.

“Hopefully we’ll only get better but it’s going to take them some time. I think they’re going to feel it tomorrow. They’re kind of running on adrenaline right now and still that high of coming off an awesome football season, that they might come down to earth a little bit,” Stacy said. “Luckily we’ve got a deep bench and they can go hard for one, two minutes, and they can go hard for that time and we can rotate some new guys in there and there’s not a dropoff in anybody that we can substitute in.”

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