FLOSSMOOR | With Illinois' new defensive hand check rule, it's going to be slow going for plenty of high school teams early in the high school basketball season.
Times No. 2 Homewood-Flossmoor's 91-38 season-opening win over Hillcrest was marred by fouls and stopped play. Amarah Coleman scored 22 for the Vikings in the win, while teammate Faith Suggs scored 16.
"The first half wasn't pretty," Vikings' coach Tony Smith said. "We really worked hard in practice on the new foul rule, so to come out and see all the fouls was disappointing. We just have to focus a little more and make sure we don't foul."
The first half of play crawled along at a snail's pace, as 28 fouls were called in the first two quarters. The Vikings took a 35-24 lead into the locker room, despite the stoppages and slow tempo.
"Any time you have that many fouls stop play, the rhythm is thrown off," Smith said. "We know that they're going to call it tight, with no hand checking. We just need to stay disciplined."
Homewood-Flossmoor opened the second half with a 21-0 run that was finally broken by two Hillcrest free throws at the 3:16 mark of the third quarter. The Vikings outscored Hillcrest 35-8 in the third.
"We moved the ball around well," Coleman said. "We played an OK game of defense, we just have to work on keeping our hands off. Overall, it was very competitive, and I think the intensity was up there."
The win was the first for new Vikings coach Tony Smith, and Suggs felt the Vikings played a solid team game.
"I think we played as a team pretty good and everybody contributed," Suggs said. "Coach did a great job of getting us fired up. Everyone was really excited. We definitely got the jitters out. The first half we kinda had the jitters, but the second half, we settled down and played as a team."