Still smarting from their first conference loss of the season the night before, Roland Griffin and his West Aurora teammates took it out on St. Patrick.
The Blackhawks pitched a shutout in the first quarter of their Batavia Night of Hoops game Saturday and cruised to a 58-27 decision.
“It was good to have back-to-back games and come right back out after a tough loss like that,” junior forward Roland Griffin said of the one-point nail-biter the Blackhawks dropped to visiting Naperville Central.
Griffin came in along the baseline and took a pass from guard Matt Dunn (5 assists) and slammed home a dunk before the first-quarter buzzer to give West a 12-0 lead.
St. Patrick missed all nine of its shots and turned the ball over four times in the first eight minutes.
“I figured me and (6-9) Carleton Williams could get inside and clear the boards, get some ball movement and attack ‘em inside out,” said the 6-4 Griffin, noting a St. Pat’s smaller front line.
Griffin finished with game highs of 23 points and nine rebounds and Jontrell Walker added 17 points. Tommy Koth added seven points and seven rebounds and Williams had four points, four rebounds and a pair of blocked shot.
St. Pat’s, which shot 9-of-45 (20 percent) from the floor, trailed 26-13 at the half and 43-22 after three quarters.
“Our guys, for the most part, are pretty good at keeping people under wraps when it comes to shooting percentage,” said coach Gordie Kerkman, whose team is 17-4.
He wasn’t, however, pleased with his team at the break. Even though West had six assists on its 10 baskets, Kerkman felt they could have done a better job attacking the Shamrocks’ 2-3 zone.
“Sometimes (the assists) were due to good ball movement but I was a little disappointed in our ball movement and told them that was the way they played (Friday) night,” Kerkman said. “When you don’t have very good ball movement, as a result you don’t get good player movement. We started moving better in the second half.”
Adrian Pierzchanowski led the Shamrocks with 12 points and Moore added eight.