SYCAMORE – The undersized and inexperienced Sycamore boys basketball team couldn’t get much going against the Hampshire Whip-Purs as the Spartans fell, 59-38, in the second game of the Leland G. Strombom Tournament.
“We know that we’re not the biggest team, so this is good for us to prepare us as we go into conference play,” Sycamore coach Ryan Picolotti said.
Hampshire (1-1) took a commanding lead in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run to put the Whip-Purs up 23-7, and they never looked back.
“A loss is always tough,” senior forward Payton Picolotti said. “We have to get boards. Last game and this game we didn’t box out very well, but we’ve been working on that. We’ve been trying to push that.”
The Sycamore offense couldn’t get past the length of the Hampshire defense, managing only five points in the first quarter, and didn’t connect on its first bucket until 2:30 was left in the second quarter.
The Spartans (0-2) still are feeling their way out this season with most players being new to the varsity level, with only two regular players returning from last year.
“You forget how much experience we don’t have at the varsity level. Right now, they have to learn on the run because Friday we’re going to play another good team,” Ryan Picolotti said.
Senior forward Peyton Wiegmann led the Spartans with 10 points, including the only five points the Spartans could muster in the first quarter.
Hampshire spread the ball around with 11 players putting points on the board.
“We have a good bench in terms of every asset. We have kids that can come in and shoot, push the ball, most importantly we don’t take a step back defensively or in athleticism,” Hampshire coach Ben Whitehouse said.
By the numbers: For the Spartans, Payton Picolotti had eight points and Trevian Cook had six points.
Beyond the stats: With 2:30 left in the second quarter, Sycamore forward Payton Picolotti hit a 3-pointer for the first bucket of the quarter for the Spartans. The shot started a 10-0 run for Sycamore to bring the deficit under 10 points.
They said it: “I was just trying to get us started. We couldn’t hit a shot all game. Their zone was tough,” Payton Picoloti said.
Up next: Both teams play again Friday in the Strombom Tournament. Sycamore plays South Elgin at 7:30 p.m. and Hampshire will take on Sandwich
at 4:30 p.m.