Boys basketball: Balanced Metea Valley wins tourney opener
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media January 19, 2013 5:54PM
Updated: February 21, 2013 6:56AM
Coming off an Upstate Eight Valley win over East Aurora Friday night, Metea Valley coach Bob Vozza was slightly concerned heading into a 3 p.m. tip-off against Oak Lawn at the inaugural Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament Saturday.
Fortunately for Vozza and the Mustangs, the whole roster came ready to play.
Ten different players scored in the first half for the Mustangs, with two more joining the party in the second half, as the Mustangs cruised to a 71-48 win. Metea will face Palatine in the semifinals of the tournament Monday at 11:45 a.m.
“Playing last night with a quick turnaround, we knew we were going to need some bench help,” Vozza said. “That group’s been playing well for two or three weeks now, pushing the guys in practice. They earned the time they’re getting and they’re making the most of it.”
Senior Melvin Meeks helped the Mustangs (12-6) break open a close game in the first quarter. He scored eight of his 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers, in a 10-2 run that gave Metea an 18-9 lead.
“It carried over from last night,” said Meeks, who scored 11 against the Tomcats. “My teammates found me for open shots last night and it continued today, put me in opportunities to score.”
Metea pushed the lead to 37-19 at the half, and at that point 10 different players had scored — not including the team’s top returning player from last season, Sean Davis, who didn’t score until the third quarter.
“Coach has been switching up the lineup to see which people have the most chemistry on the floor,” Meeks said. “We keep on improving after those adjustments.”
Oak Lawn (6-13) tried to hang around in the third quarter, thanks to senior Shawn Cannon. He scored the first 17 points of the second half for the Spartans, including all 15 of their third-quarter points, but it wasn’t enough to help them climb back into the game.
Metea was led by sophomore Nick Dodson, who scored 13 points off the bench. Meeks was the only other player in double figures in the balanced win.
“I thought it was a total team effort,” Vozza said. “Guys pitched in when they could. Everyone was eager to get out there and they made the most of their minutes and we had some positive things happen.”