By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Raiders, Burford, complete sweep of Marian Catholic, Romeoville and L-W East in SWSC-Blue opener


Last updated 1/18/2020 at 12:05am

It was Senior Night Frida at Bolingbrook High School as the Raiders hosted the Lincoln-Way East in both school's Southwest Suburban Conference Blue-opener. Lincoln-Way East (12-3, 0-1) gave the Raiders all they could handle as Bolingbrook (15-4, 1-0) clung to a 31-30 lead at halftime.

"I was very unhappy with the way we played defense in the first half," Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. "I let them know how unhappy I was with their first-half performance and challenged them to do better. They responded. It was very gratifying for me to see how they answered my challenge and went on to defeat a very good Lincoln-Way East team going away."

For the third consecutive game Elon University-bound senior Darius Burford topped the 30-point mark, scoring 32, 17 in the second half, to lead the Raiders to the 76-63 victory.

Junior Isaiah Stafford scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half to finish off the Griffins.

"We really turned up our defensive pressure, forcing numerous turnovers, to win this game, as we always do," Stafford said. "Everything starts for us in practice. We work so very hard in practice, that the games are easier for us. We all trust each other."

With tonight's 32-point-explosion Elon Phoenix, has scored 103 points in his last three games - an average of 34.3 points-per-game.

Along with 32 points tonight, Burford also hauled down six rebounds and had five steals.

"We came out with a lot of energy in the second half," Burford said. "Again, my teammates set me up in great position to score. We all can't wait to get back in practice. That is where we get better and better. We are very difficult to be beat."

Stafford had four assists with his 21 points. Raider junior guard Kyonte Thomas scored but five points, but dropped six, assists to his teammates.

"My assists all came off our outstanding defense," Thomas said. "We steal the ball and that allows me to give great passes to these guys."

Junior Kai Matthew Evans scored only eight points but had two assists. In the closing minutes of tonight's game, Evans' rim-rattling slam-dunk, lit up the senior night crowd.

"This was a big win for us and a great week," Evans said.

"This was a truly, gratifying week for us," Brost concluded. "To go on the road to beat a very good Marian Catholic team and then the very next night go to Romeoville and defeat our arch-rivals in a very tough game was amazing. And then to conclude the week with a huge SWSC Blue win over Lincoln-Way East is a credit to our players and coaches."


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