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Test of endurance : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Test of endurance
Oswego East boys' basketball team opens busy stretch with loss

by Kristin Sharp


The start of play wasn't pretty, but the Oswego East boys' basketball team shook off any remaining rust in the second quarter of play against Plainfield Central last Friday.

The result was a 60-56 victory to give the Wolves their fourth win in the last five games, but Oswego East began a busy stretch of play Tuesday, traveling to Plainfield South for the first of three games over a five-day span.

The Cougars ended the Wolves' short-lived win streak with a 67-62 victory for Plainfield South and moved Oswego East to 5-9 on the season and 2-3 in Southwest Prairie Conference action.

The Wolves will host Plainfield North on Friday at 6:30 p.m. before facing host Downers Grove North in the Downers Grove North Winter Classic on Saturday at 6 p.m.

"It's definitely a tough week, but it's coming toward the end of the season and you've got to play them anyway. We're ready to go," Oswego East head coach Steve Szymanski said.

The Wolves welcome the upcoming challenges after experiencing an unexpected schedule break due to two days of school cancellations, which prompted a Jan. 7 meeting at Minooka to be rescheduled for Feb. 4. That left Oswego East without a game from its Romeoville Tournament championship appearance on Dec. 30 through Friday's win over Plainfield Central.

Oswego East struggled to score just five points in the opening quarter against Plainfield Central, but junior Jalen Williams provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven of his nine points in the second period to help lift the Wolves.

"We came out a little slow," Szymanski said. "We shot the ball very poorly. We got open looks, but with a couple of snow days we only practiced twice that week. I gave them a little bit of time off over break so we were a little bit rusty on Friday. We got it together defensively and came out on top, so that was nice."

Senior Mike McAllister paced the offense with 14 points, and sophomore Demetrius Ewing had 13 points while junior Houston McCullum and freshman Trevor Ross had 11 points each. Ewing had a team-best 11 rebounds.

"I think the biggest thing over the tournament is we started playing more as a team and our scoring was balanced. We don't necessarily have a star player; we work best when we play as a team and everybody is contributing," Szymanski said. "We have different guys stepping up and as long as the guys are trusting their teammates, we're definitely a better team."

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