ELMHURST, Ill. – De La Salle’s Alex Foster had enough of Naperville North come the third quarter on Thursday.
The underdog Huskies had slowed the game down and kept with No. 6 De La Salle for the first half of Thursday’s semifinal game at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.
When the third quarter arrived, Foster and De La Salle turned to their superior athleticism and quickly turned a tight game into a blowout. The Meteors outscored Naperville North 21-7 in the third quarter and went on to win 54-28.
De La Salle will meet St. Ignatius in the championship on Friday.
“We pretty much said, ‘Let’s go get them,’” said Foster, who had eight points in the third quarter. “We just had the attitude of let’s finish this game out. At least, that’s the attitude I had.”
De La Salle (10-1) was at its best Thursday when it created an up-tempo atmosphere. Throughout the third quarter, the Meteors hounded Naperville North’s ball handlers, forced turnovers and created fast breaks.
Sophomore Alvin Ellis, junior Gavin Schilling and Foster, De La Salle’s three high-major prospects, were often in the mix on the both ends of the floor. In one sequence, Ellis stole the ball, pushed it up court, passed it behind his back to Schilling, and Schilling dunked the ball while being fouled.
“That’s pretty much what we do as a team,” said Foster, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. “We get after it. When we don’t, it seems like we’re frustrated. When we get after it, you see smiles on our faces. We’re having fun.”
Ellis led De La Salle in scoring for the third consecutive game. He had a game-high 14 points and also contributed four steals.
“I try to be as fast as I can be up and down the court,” Ellis said. “I try to beat everyone up the court and get those layups.”
Schilling (nine points), Marcus White (five points, three steals) and Demarcus Richardson (six points) contributed for the Meteors.
David Sinickas scored a team-high nine points for Naperville North (8-3).
In the other semifinal, St. Ignatius (10-1) upset No. 12 Downers Grove South 52-50. St. Ignatius’ Abdoulie Contch scored the game-winner in the lane with 1.5 seconds remaining.
St. Ignatius trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half.
“The kids played with composure in an easy game we could have quit on,” St. Ignatius coach Rich Kehoe said. “Nothing seemed to be going their way. It’s the first time we had come from double-digit behind to win a game that includes our summer play as well.”