Larkin looked for some alternative scoring options Wednesday at Streamwood with senior forward Drew Jones out with an ankle sprain, and five other reserves gone for a variety of reasons.
The Royals didn’t have to look too far as freshman Christian Negron supplied the spectacular with a pair of early dunks, and guards Kendale McCullum, Derrick Streety and Taylor Boley lit it up from three-point range in a 75-43 Upstate Eight River victory.
“Drew is a big piece for us; he’s one of our leading scorers,” Negron said.
The 6-6 Negron scored six first-quarter points to help stake Larkin to a 16-10 lead, including two dunks. Streety, Boley and McCullum combined for nine three-pointers in the game.
“Over the summer Kendale and I worked on our shots a lot,” Streety said. “Last year we’d have guys playing way off us at the free throw line and that hurt us offensively.
“As this season has gone on we’ve been getting better at it.”
Streety scored 14 points, including two treys. McCullum had 13 and hit three treys. Boley played the sixth man role and scored a game-high 16 points, including four three-pointers.
Larkin outscored Streamwood 24-9 in the third quarter to turn it into a romp after being ahead only 39-31 early in the second half. Boley had 10 of his 16 in the quarter.
“Many of our guys did a great job of playing within themselves,” Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. “We’re deep on our bench. What we didn’t want to do was have all five of the guys who aren’t used to playing with each other out there together. But I was proud of our bench.”
Jack McCracken came off the bench for 10 points and Tanner Gardon added six with three boards for Larkin (15-3, 6-0) in its first conference game since Dec. 20.
Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn could hardly be upset with the effort from his young team considering they’d just played their 10th game in 13 days.
“The first half we were focusing on energy, staying positive and trying to correct stuff we’re not very good at,” Kowalyszyn said. “We’re making strides, but we just need to get there a little faster.”
The Sabres (2-20, 0-7) got three three-pointers from sophomore Jake McGlone and 10 points from Jacob Siewert and didn’t even seem bothered by Negron’s dunks early. Then again, they had their own slam from 5-7 sophomore guard Jelyn Hill on the fast break after a steal.
“I told him I didn’t want him trying a dunk in a game unless he did it three times in practicem: Kowalyszyn said. “And he did it three times in practice.”