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Basketball: Schultz, Oswego East roll over Minooka

OSWEGO – Sam Schultz may be a high school post, but don't be fooled.

There is a point guard stuck inside that 6-foot-7 frame.

"Back in the old days when I was younger, my AAU coach Greg Moody let me play point guard," said Schultz, an Oswego East sophomore. "I'm used to playing point guard with the assists."

Schultz and the Wolves were dishing them out Friday. He scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but just as important led an unselfish effort with a number of slick passes.

It added up to a 64-41 win over visiting Minooka in the Southwest Prairie Conference.

Ray J Dennis added 11 points, Kamron Battle eight and Trent Taylor seven for Oswego East (12-6, 5-3), which outscored Minooka (12-11, 4-4) 24-5 in the second quarter. The Wolves built their lead up to 30 in the second half, winning for the ninth time in 10 games.

"I thought that first half was maybe the best half of basketball we've played this year," Oswego East coach Ryan Velasquez said.

Brandon Hill scored eight points and Adrian Gutierrez had five points and five rebounds for Minooka. The Indians, coming off a stretch of eight games in 10 days, were missing starter Grayson Hofmann (concussion). Adrian Page was among the Minooka players slowed by the flu in recent days, but Indians coach Scott Tanaka wasn't accepting it as an excuse.

"We just didn't fight, and that's on me as coach. I have to get these guys to fight for 32 minutes," Tanaka said. "We're better than that."

Tanaka's bigs, 6-foot-7 Gutierrez and Page, have some girth. Schultz, though, proved a tough matchup.

He knocked down a 3-pointer to end Oswego East's 16-8 first quarter, and was just getting started. Schultz scored 10 points during the Wolves' big second quarter, and showcased the full package out of halftime.

From the 3-point line, he faked and threaded a gorgeous pass to Battle for a layup. Next time down Schultz caught a pass at the top of the key, faked again and smoothly drove down the lane for a layup. For good measure, moments later he hit a fadeaway 15-footer.

"He's going to be a great player, and he's already good," Tanaka said. "To have that skill set already, he's going to be a tough guy to deal with the next couple years."

Indeed, Schultz came in not only second on Oswego East in scoring (14.5 average) but also second to Dennis in assists (3.8).

"Pretty versatile, can step out and has good vision," Velasquez said. "We trust him with the basketball and give him a lot of freedom. We needed a big game from him going up against Gutierrez and Page."

The Wolves' biggest progression from November, though, is their defense. The team that gave up 95 points the first game of the season went on a 14-1 run to end the first half up 40-13, smothering Minooka and limiting the Indians to one shot.

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