A chocking defense made the difference as Deerfield High School’s basketball team dominated McHenry, 61-29, in the opening Regional contest of the Illinois High School Association State Tournament today at Deerfield.
Playing without center Michael Alfieri who was ill, the Warriors held McHenry to four points in the second quarter, six in the third and seven in the fourth stifling nearly every offensive effort put forth.
“We were down some of our bigger players and asked our kids to play aggressively,” Deerfield Coach Dan McKendrick said. “They responded up and down the court playing hard and aggressive.”
Without Aflieri’s presence in the middle of the court, Deerfield adjusted its offense utilizing Eric Porter even more outside. When Porter, who led his team with 12 points, was not scoring he was diverting the defense to enable other Warriors to put the ball in the hoop.
“We played a little freer on the perimeter,” McKendrick said. “We set up Eric (Porter) for some good shots and when they defended him he was able to find our guys open.”
Deerfield advances to the Regional semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Zion-Benton in Deerfield. The two teams have not met this season. The Warriors did fall to Lake Forest, 54-49, Feb. 4 and the Scouts dropped two games to the Zee-Bees by a total of four points. “They’re very good but we feel we can play with anybody when we’re on our game,” McKendrick said.
Other contributors for Deerfield today included Alexander Glantz with 10 points and Patrick Burns with eight.