ROCK ISLAND — It didn't take very long in Wednesday's men's basketball game for it to become obvious that the Augustana vs. Rockford matchup was going to be lopsided.
By the time starter Dylan Sortillo and top backcourt reserve Lucas Simon hit back-to-back 3-pointers just four-plus minutes into the game, the Vikings had opened a double-digit lead. It never got any closer as the nationally third-ranked Vikings (7-1) topped the 100-point mark for the first time this season in rolling to a 109-51 victory over the 5-5 Regents.
“I thought we played very well,” said Augie coach Grey Giovanine. “I thought we had great focus and energy to start the game and really shared the ball with 10 assists by the half. I thought it was a good, complete game.”
Complete was also a perfect adjective as the entire Augie bench saw quality minutes and all 16 players in uniform scored. While the Vikings were led by starters Nolan Ebel (13 points) and Sortillo (12), no starter played more than Sortillo's 16 minutes as they accounted for just 41 points.
That left plenty for the guys on the bench to relish in the opportunity, and they took advantage of it — including former local standouts Andy McLaughlin and Carson Frakes, who posted their first career varsity minutes and points.
“It's a great experience to get out there and feel what the varsity level is like and know how that type of play is,” said McLaughlin, a sophomore from Moline who scored seven points and had a steal in his eight minutes. “It was nice to go out there and get that experience.”
McLaughlin had a bit more sweat equity pay off than Frakes, a freshman who saw minutes in his first game dressing with the varsity. He also scored seven points (hitting five of six free throws), grabbed six rebounds and had a blocked shot in his 14 minutes.
“It's nice to know that the hard work I'm putting in in JV games and practices is starting to pay dividends,” said Frakes, a former Rockridge standout. “It was just a good experience to get out there in that atmosphere, with that crowd.”
The Vikings hit the 100-point plateau on Nic Uhlir's 3-pointer at the 2:27 mark off a feed from Joe Kellen (four points, four rebounds, three assists). Uhlir also finished with seven points in eight minutes.
With the game being out of control early — Augie led 32-11 just 10 minutes in and 59-23 at halftime — Giovanine took advantage and got his reserves time.
“You love when you can do that,” said Giovanine of clearing his bench early and often. “One, it rewards them for all the work they put in. Second, you get a chance to develop guys. Player rotations are not set yet – we're still looking. So to get to see some guys in game conditions is really a good thing.”
And he liked what he saw from all 16 on Wednesday.