Boys Basketball: Aaron Simpson-led North Chicago tops Waukegan
Updated: November 23, 2011 9:00PM
It was a wild, emotional game played at a breakneck pace, and it ended with North Chicago senior Aaron Simpson standing at center court, telling his Warhawks teammates that they now owned Waukegan.
Simpson, with a lot of help from sophomore JaVairius Amos-Mays, spurred North Chicago to a 65-43 win over arch-rival Waukegan Wednesday at the Waukegan Thanksgiving Tournament.
“That was intense,” Simpson said. “I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for so many years, to beat Waukegan on their court. This is a huge rivalry, big for the team and all the fans.”
It was a tight game for three and a half quarters, but a 9-0 North Chicago run—capped by a three from JayQuan McCloud—gave the Warhawks a 41-32 lead with 1:41 left in the third quarter.
“We turned on the defense and tried to contain [Akeem Springs and Devonte Taylor],” Simpson said. “You can’t stop those guys, but we were able to hold them down some in the second half.”
Simpson led the way with 20 points. Amos-Mays, who transferred in from Zion-Benton over the summer, added 18 points and 13 rebounds, flashing the potential to become Lake County’s next star.
“He put on a real show,” Simpson said. “It was me out there helping him. He won us this game, no question. He’s really a go-getter, probably the best transfer this school has ever had.”
Taylor led Waukegan (0-1) with 17 points and seven rebounds. Springs added 11 points and 10 rebounds, but shot just 2-for-16 from the field, including 0-for-9 from three-point range.
The season has barely begun, but Simpson, an Illinois State recruit, already has his sights set on a return trip to the state finals.
“We are going to get back to Peoria,” Simpson said. “And this year I think we’ve got enough to win it.”