Plainfield East's Tristin Esker is used to doing the dirty work of rebounding and defending for the Bengals.
On Tuesday, the 6-4 senior led all scorers with a career-high 18 points as the hosts beat Romeoville 63-41 in Southwest Prairie Conference action.
"We did a good job on both ends of the floor, and we forced Romeoville into quite a few turnovers," Esker said. "Our point guards did a good job of passing the ball. They were able to give me a few assists under the bucket. I was able to get good position on the glass and grab the ball with two hands and put it back up. Offensive rebounding is one of my strengths."
Bengals coach Branden Adkins agreed.
"Tristin is one of those guys who just works so hard all the time. He doesn't always get the credit he deserves because everything he does is behind the scenes. He's scrappy. He pulls down a lot of offensive rebounds. He worked hard work around the rim, and he hustled to get himself a putback or to get to the free throw line. I'm happy for him to have a night like that," Adkins said.
Plainfield East (8-6, 3-2) pulled away from the Spartans (3-12, 0-5) with a 6-0 run to start the second quarter to lead 19-10 and a 10-2 run to start the third quarter.
After an Aaron Jordan (7 points) slam dunk and a Nick Novak three-pointer, the Bengals were ahead 41-19 with 6:11 to play in the third quarter.
"When you're playing some of the better teams in our conference, and this is one of the better teams, you have to maintain your ability to score while limiting them on the defensive end," Romeoville coach Marc Howard said.
Spartans' guard Dwayne Griffin led Romeoville with 17 points.
"Griffin stepped up. I was very proud of him. He was very aggressive. He knocked down some big shots for us," Howard said.
Plainfield East's Elyjah Goss, a 6--6 sophomore, came off the bench to score 14 points. The Bengals also forced 25 Romeoville turnovers.