Jake Lindstedt was the fifth man off the Wheaton Academy bench Tuesday night.
But the 6-5 junior made the most of his limited minutes.
Lindstedt had put-backs on back-to-back possessions late in the Warriors’ Suburban Christian crossover against Immaculate Conception.
The St. Charles resident then added a third field goal on the ensuing possession, and Wheaton Academy captured the boys basketball clash between the respective division leaders, 64-53, in West Chicago.
The last of the three consecutive scoring possessions extended the Warriors’ lead to 60-52 with less than two minutes to play.
“Coach (Pete Froedden) has been getting on me about playing hard,” said Lindstedt, who finished with a season-high 13 points and seven rebounds. “We have had other guys step up. It was my time. We are really deep in the post. We have a definite advantage over other teams.”
IC (16-4) simply could not cope with the Warriors’ inside trio of Lindstedt, 6-10 center Chandler Fuzak and 6-8 forward Gordon Behr.
The latter two combined for six of the Warriors’ eight blocked shots, and Behr was the high man for Wheaton Academy with 17 points and nine rebounds.
IC scored the first five points of the game, but the Warriors (13-7) responded with an 8-2 run to established their first lead.
The Warriors’ size on the interior showed in the second quarter as IC missed eight of its 11 field-goal attempts.
Wheaton Academy never trailed again after Lindstedt had an early second-period put-back.
The Warriors not only blocked six shots in the opening half but the inside triumvirate altered an even greater number.
Rhashaun Epting had a game-high 22 points for the Knights, but he readily admitted the Warriors’ inside players had a withering effect on the IC players.
“They just had a lot of height,” said Epting, who also added a game-high 10 rebounds and two blocks. “We fought really hard. I started changing my shot instead of going up strong.”
Wheaton Academy established 10-point leads in each half, but turnovers enabled IC to make runs in both halves.
IC reserve Tony Burrows’ banked-in 25-footer at the second-quarter buzzer reduced the Warriors’ halftime lead to 30-25.
The Knights closed to within one point late in the third quarter, but the emergence of Lindstedt and Josh Ruggles’ free-throw shooting down the stretch meant the final score was the largest of the night.
“(The win) doesn’t have anything to do with (determining the) conference (champion),” Behr said. “We always want to defend our house.”
Fuzak finished with 11 points for Wheaton Academy.