Solari gives Maine South reserve energy vs. Maine East
Freshman call-up among subs to get minutes in lopsided win
February 2, 2010 11:18 PM
The Maine South boys basketball team’s starting lineup was absent from the court in the fourth quarter against Maine East Tuesday night in Park Ridge.
Maine South's Alex Sir (right) gets pressured by Maine East's Aaron Shannon (center) and Tony Enwiya during Tuesday's game. (Photo by Jon Durr/www.DurrPhotos.com)
With a 37-point lead after three quarters, Hawks coach Tony Lavorato was able to give his starters an extended breather, and more importantly, let his reserves get some time as they coasted to a 77-37 victory in a Central Suburban League crossover matchup.
“Those guys have been doing a great job for us,” Lavorato said of his reserves. “They’re the guys behind the scenes. They work hard and battle every day. We’re not the team we are without those guys. We’ve got three games this week, so it was really a nice luxury.”
Maine East (4-15) went ahead 20-18 early in the second quarter on junior Darnel Jones’ 12-foot jumper before the Hawks (20-4) took flight. Much like the entire game, Maine South responded to Maine East’s bucket on the next possession.
Maine South senior Justin Wasik (17 points, 5 assists) knocked down a three-pointer that ignited a furious 46-4 run that lasted until the beginning of the fourth quarter. Maine East senior and leading scorer Nus Khan’s free-throws two minutes into the fourth quarter made the game 64-26.
Up 37-22 at halftime, Maine South was able to extend the run and its lead in the second half thanks to reserve freshman John Solari (8 points, 6 rebounds), junior Tony Albano (3 points, 6 assists), senior Josh Grant (6 points, 3 rebounds) and senior Lenny Allegretti (5 points).
Maine East's Alfredo Nagode takes a shot Tuesday against Maine South. (Photo by Jon Durr/www.DurrPhotos.com)
Solari, a 6-foot-3 forward, was brought up to the varsity over Christmas and played well beyond his years mixing it up in the paint.
“I just tried to come in and be active, doing the little things to help the team out,” Solari said.
Practicing every day with senior leaders such as P.J. Killean (12 points), Pat Maher (5 points, 4 steals), Wasik, as well as 6-6 junior Matt Palucki (12 points), has already helped the freshman step up his game.
“It’s great to be able to practice with them,” Solari said. “The speed of the game is a lot faster on varsity. I just try to get better every day.”
Juniors Casey Bruce and Peter Kozak each chipped in four points for the Hawks, whose 40-point victory is their largest margin since their opening night 94-16 drubbing of Chicago Sullivan.
“A win’s a win. Personally, I don’t really care how much we win by,” Wasik said. “We know that we can beat anyone on any given night. We’ve just got to focus and play our game.”
Khan finished with 19 points for the Blue Demons. Senior Alfredo Nagode added eight points, and junior Tony Enwiya scored six on two three-pointers.
This is the second consecutive game Maine East has been doomed by long-scoring droughts, and being on the receiving end of runs of more than 20 points.
“It’s a sign of our inexperience,” Maine East coach Huey Crawford said. “We only have three kids who have played varsity basketball. When you’re losing, you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.”