Boys Basketball: Hard work paying off as Cliff Dunigan carries Mundelein by Stevenson
Updated: January 13, 2012 10:32PM
The additional practice hours certainly paid off for Mundelein junior forward Cliff Dunigan, who helped lead his Mustangs (16-3, 4-1) to a 59-51 home win over North Suburban Lake foe Stevenson (10-5, 3-3) Friday night.
“I was frustrated with how I had been shooting so I’ve been putting in a lot of extra work lately,” Dunigan said. “I’ve been waking up early, and going to the YMCA with my dad at 5 AM. They were sagging off me tonight, probably thinking I wouldn’t shoot the three, but I came ready to shoot.”
Dunigan finished with a team-high 14 points, including two from beyond the arc.
Mundelein’s Sean O’Brien and Robert Knar added 13 and 11 points respectively.
For the second straight game, Mundelein held a double-digit halftime lead but allowed it to slip away. After going into the locker room trailing 35-24, Stevenson was able to draw within six with 4:33 remaining.
“You never want to let those leads get away, but we have really good leaders in Sean and Robert who are able to turn it on when we need them,” Dunigan said.
Senior guard Michael Fleming led the Patriots with 16 points, but it was his defense in the second half that helped Stevenson get out into the open court for some much needed easy buckets. Fleming, and his backcourt partner Jalen Brunson hounded the Mundelein ball handlers, forcing turnovers and quick ill-advised shots.
Stevenson’s Colby Cashaw played big on both ends of the court and finished with 12 points.
Mundelein junior forward Chino Ebube who had been in Nigeria after the passing of his grandmother returned Friday night to help bolster the Mustangs’ interior defense. With the length and athleticism of Ebube, Dunigan and O’Brien, points in the paint and second chance opportunities are hard to come by.