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Boys Basketball: St. Charles East hands Geneva first loss

Kendall Stephens

Kendall Stephens

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Updated: December 8, 2012 1:00AM

After a back-and-forth first half, St. Charles East took control midway through the third quarter as it handed Geneva its first loss of the season with a 55-39 victory Friday in Upstate Eight River play.

The Saints (5-1, 2-1) shot the ball well to open the game, surging to an early 9-2 lead, but things were all knotted up at 9-9 entering the second quarter.

The teams remained evenly matched midway through the third quarter, with the Saints hanging onto a 34-33 lead. Then, St. Charles East stepped up the defensive intensity and took charge of the game.

“We pride ourselves on our defense, and we knew it was going to be a battle with Geneva coming in here 7-0,” Saints coach Pat Woods said. “We have different rotations and we just try to change it up and keep them on their toes.”

A three-pointer by Kendall Stephens started a 10-0 run for the Saints, as they forced four turnovers during the run and took control.

The Vikings (7-1, 2-1) would only score six more points the rest of the way, as the Saints cruised to a 16-point win.

Impressively enough, the Saints were able to do it without a huge night from their leading scorer Stephens, who didn’t start the game after battling an illness during the week.

“I thought tonight made us better in that we’re still working on ways to get (Kendall) open and get him as many touches as we can,” Woods said. “But by the same token I thought it was really nice that we had different players step up, because the more we can do that, the better we’re going to get.”

Stephens still finished with a game-high 15 points, but did it on just 4-of-5 shooting as the Vikings blanketed him all night defensively. He added three blocks and a pair of steals on the defensive end.

Dom Adduci also had a solid night offensively for the Saints, tallying 14 points on three three-pointers, while Cole Gentry added eight points and four steals. Four others players registered at least four points.

For the Vikings, sophomore Nate Navigato continued his strong early-season play, scoring seven first-half points on his way to a 12-point, eight-rebound night.

“We made some adjustments defensively on him in the second half and were able to slow him down, but he’s a good player and I’m not looking forward to going against him for the next three years,” Woods said.

Connor Chapman led the Vikings with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Kyle Brown chipped in seven points off the bench.

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