Plano emerged from intermission looking like a team possessed and on a mission defensively after Peotone scored the last seven points of the first half to pull within 25-23.
The Reapers (17-12, 6-5 IEC) held the Blue Devils to only three points in the third, mainly on the efforts of Elijah Wallace and Justin Rhotan, to run to a comfortable lead and win by a final score of 49-33.
Rhotan excited the home crowd with a dunk to finish the first quarter and another to begin the second as Plano worked to a 25-16 lead.
“We do it (dunks) for the fans, but we also do it to play hard. It gets the crowd into it and gets us into it as well,” said Rhotan.
But Andrew Marganski nailed a three and a jumper from the lane for Peotone (14-13, 7-4) near the end of the second to keep the contest within two at the half.
Plano ramped up the trapping zone effort and kept it going for the entire third quarter with Wallace and Rhotan at the top.
“We played well with steals and getting out in transition. It was awesome,” said Wallace who finished with eight points, as did Rhotan. “We played decent defense in the first half, but we definitely stepped it up in the second.”
The Reapers had 12 rebounds in the third, nine defensively, and held Peotone to 1-of-10 shooting. Jon McDermott had two layups, one on a feed from Rhotan, and Wambugu Wambugu finished the decisive run with two layups, one a great assist from Luke Romano.
Udo Agomo (game-high 17 points) also had a tip in basket, and played steadily near the hoop the entire night.
“We crashed the boards well as a team, not just me as one player,” said Agomo. “I just happened to come up with the ball on some of those.”
The Plano defensive effort allowed Peotone to shoot only 30 percent on 13-of-44, and clamped down in the second half to allow only 10 total points and 19 percent shooting on 4-of-21.