Boys Basketball: Waukegan rolls past Evanston
Updated: December 9, 2011 10:50PM
Waukegan shot the lights out in the first half and found other ways to score once the jumpers stopped dropping in the second as it beat previously-undefeated Evanston 74-54 on the road Friday night.
Senior Akeem Springs (26 points) led the Bulldogs, who hit 15 of 23 first-half shots, including 7-for-11 from three-point range. Waukegan (3-3, 2-0) led 46-24 at the break.
The visitors went cold from the field after halftime as the Wildkits (7-1, 1-1) closed the gap to 11 points in the third. But Waukegan managed to build its lead back up thanks to free throws and some easy buckets.
The Bulldogs put up their biggest point total of the season, and gave up their second-fewest points thus far.
“Coach (Ron Ashlaw) has been on us about not shooting well, and it was good for us to have a good shooting night. Across the board, everybody shot well (in the first half),” Springs said. “The defense did it today too. I figured (the shooting) wouldn’t be as consistent as it was in the first half, but we came out with a win.”
Junior forward Devonte Taylor added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Waukegan, while junior point guard Jordan Johnson had 10 points and senior forward Kyle Williams had nine.
Springs and Taylor scored 15 and 13 respectively in a first half in which Waukegan led by as many as 24.
The Bulldogs then went nearly seven minutes without a hoop in the third quarter, before Taylor’s basket with 1:10 remaining in the frame stopped that slide.
Ashlaw said his team’s .500 record might be deceiving since the early-season schedule has included the likes of Warren, Glenbrook North, Lake Forest Academy and North Chicago.
“(Evanston) coach (Mike) Ellis joked that our RPI is as tough as anybody around,” Ashlaw said. “We get judged on our win/loss record so much and it makes me edgy. (Our) schedule is a meat grinder and that’s why I hope we’re judged by how we play and not just on strict numbers.”
Evanston settled for outside shots in the first half, hitting just 9-for-25 in the first 16 minutes, 4-for-14 from behind the arc.
Senior guard Brian Bertsche’s six third-quarter points helped key his team’s mini second-half run. Senior guards Josh Irving and Jordan Perrin led the Wildkits with nine points apiece.
But it was a largely disappointing evening for Evanston in front of a large home crowd.
“We allowed them to get in a great flow and rhythm offensively (in the first half) and we panicked when that happened,” said Ellis, the Wildkit coach. “That hasn’t happened to us this year. Waukegan got good looks around the basket, wide-open threes and transition points. The first 12 minutes, they scored any way they wanted to, any time they wanted to.”
Ellis added: “Tonight, I thought Waukegan came to play, and we just showed up.”