Homewood-Flossmoor coach James McLaughlin has said this year’s team is different. They are hungrier, tougher and more cohesive.
They also made their own history on the first day of the expanded Proviso West Holiday tournament.
The No. 4 Vikings recorded the largest margin of victory in two decades of the tournament as they exploded for a 34-2 lead after the first quarter, overwhelming overmatched Ellison 88-26 in first-round play of the 32-team field Saturday in Hillside.
Homewood-Flossmoor advances to play Westinghouse in the second round Thursday morning.
Fifteen of the 16 players that played scored for the Vikings (8-0). Justin Scott threw down a dunk on the opening possession and it was lights out from there for the Vikings. Junior 6-8 forward Tai Odiase recorded game-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Rashaan Surles scored 12 points and 6-9 senior forward Lamar Wofford-Humphrey contributed 11 for the Vikings.
The game was actually tied, once, at 2-2 on Michael Hence’s layup for the Lions (6-5). The Vikings outscored Ellison 32-0 in the final 6:43 of the first quarter. They led 53-6 at the break.
Ellison had no answer for their pressure or inside strength. Homewood-Flossmoor forced 25 turnovers and committed just 11. They blocked seven shots without allowing one of their shots to be blocked in return.
Star senior center Maurius Hill added eight points and four rebounds. Senior forward Grant Anderson also contributed eight points. Homewood-Flossmoor limited the Lions to just 13 points through three quarters.