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Boys basketball: Elliot McGaughy becomes Oswego’s top career scorer in win

In front packed house Elliot McGaughy slams ball through hoop during wover Oswego East Friday. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

In front of a packed house, Elliot McGaughy slams the ball through the hoop during a win over Oswego East on Friday. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 3, 2013 9:48PM

Prior to Friday’s sold-out crosstown showdown against Oswego East, Oswego senior Elliot McGaughy was his usual exuberant self, bouncing around between his teammates and the crowd, clearly reveling in the atmosphere.

Once the ball was tipped, McGaughy channeled that energy to the court immediately, notching a layup and a three-pointer in the opening moments to get the crowd going. He and the Panthers made sure that crowd stayed in it all night, cruising to a 73-60 Southwest Prairie Conference win.

Along the way, McGaughy had one of his finest performances as a Panther. He scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and he became Oswego’s all-time leading scorer in the process. He came into the game 22 points behind 1999 graduate Chris Silagi’s mark of 1,430 points.

“I’m glad that I accomplished that goal, but that wasn’t my main goal,” McGaughy said. “My main goal was to get the win and that’s what we did.”

With Oswego (21-2 overall, 10-0 SPC) struggling from the field in the first half (12-of-32 as a team), McGaughy scored 18 first-half points to keep the Panthers up 32-31 at the half. But Oswego East (9-12, 5-5) took a 33-32 lead on a pair of Tyson Ross free throws to start the third quarter.

That was when the Panthers came to life. Senior Miles Simelton struggled from the field (7-of-23), but he scored five quick points and dished out to sophomore Zach West for another three to open a 40-33 lead with 6:03 left in the third. But the Panthers didn’t stop there.

When it was all said and done, Oswego went on a 25-2 run that opened a 57-35 lead with 1:07 left in the third. Simelton scored eight points of his 22 points in the run and Darion Reddick scored seven of his 13 points in the run.

“We talk about playing fast and physical, and I thought the third quarter we established our physicality,” Oswego coach Kevin Schnable said. “Our defense generated our offense in the third quarter. We were diving on the floor, flying around and then we were going the other way. That’s how we get the transition going. We played very well in the third.”

To Oswego East’s credit, the Wolves hung around in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 65-55 with 1:55 left in the game. A pair of missed front ends in the bonus helped keep the Wolves from cutting the lead to single digits, however. CJ Vaughn led the Wolves with 18 points and Kendall Dorsey added 17 points.

“There’s something to be said for staying in the game and continuing to play hard, and I think we did that,” Oswego East coach Ron Murphy said.

The game was sold out before the evening even started, and the atmosphere showed it. With the Panthers standing at 21-2 and gearing up for a deep postseason run, they are getting used to playing in environments like that.

“I love when the crowd is behind us, that gets us going,” McGaughy said. “It motivates us more that we have fans that come out to see us and we like to put on a show.”

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