Domas Narcevicius, who is Lithuanian, plays that way for Stagg. And after a little slump? ‘I feel like I’m back.’ – Boston Herald
Domas Narcevicius, a third generation Lithuanian, said he’s full of “that European blood” as a basketball player for Stagg. If you watch the NBA, well, you know that’s a good thing.
The junior forward has been playing the sport since age 4, learning the skills and the fundamentals along with other Lithuanian youngsters in a program based in Lemont.
“Playing there helped me develop an IQ for the game,” Narcevicius said. “I see the game differently sometimes. I love this sport. I love the culture — the people.
“A lot of good things come from it.”
Narcevicius had the goods Monday night for the visiting Chargers, scoring a game-high 19 points to go with five rebounds and a steal in a 63-59 win over T.F. South in Lansing.
Stagg (10-2) played four games in seven days, and Narcevicius wasn’t happy with the way the stretch started. He said he had a rough week on the court, and it was getting to him.
“It was in my head,” he said. “I was missing shots, and I was lacking on a few other things on defense. I was forcing a lot of shots.”
“I feel like I’m back,” he said.
As a sophomore on the varsity last season, Narcevicius was used as a sharpshooter in spots. His workload has increased this season.
“On the surface, he can really shoot the basketball,” Stagg coach Marty Strus said of Narcevicius. “As a sophomore, that was great. That was his role — to come in and shoot.
“Now, we’re trying to expand that role as a junior. How do we keep him on the floor? He has to be able to rebound. He has to defend better. He’s had his moments in trying to figure that out. The best is yet to come for him.”
Stagg held a 32-18 lead early in the third before the Red Wolves made a furious comeback in forcing a 41-41 tie with 1:35 left in the quarter.
Narcevicius hit a basket and a pair of 3-pointers to put the Chargers ahead 51-46, and they inflated that advantage to 59-47 with less than two minutes left.
T.F. South staged another comeback, cutting the deficit to 61-59 before Williams hit the two free throws to close the scoring.
Hitting 10 wins so early in the season is an important landmark for Stagg.
“There were some seasons we scraped to get to 10 wins, and we have 10 right now,” Strus said. “In those years we were scraping, we didn’t let our record define who we were.
“We always thought we were better than our record showed, and I told them they have to think the same way now.”
That message got through to Narcevicius. After recent wins over Oak Lawn and Barrington, he’s looking for more good things from the Chargers.
“Right now, I’m waiting for a bigger fish to eat,” he said. “We beat Oak Lawn, and we’re looking for another big game to win so we can put our name out there.
“I feel like this is a top 10 team in Class 4A.”
Stagg is eyeing at least 20 wins this season. The last time that happened was 2013-2014, when Strus’ younger brother, Max, was leading the team. Max is a starter in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“This is fun,” Williams said of the hot start. “We want to keep getting better. Maybe we can get 20 wins. I would say that’s a good number.”
Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.
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