Boys Basketball: Free throws help Lake Zurich surprise StevensonLake Zurich Saturday, 1/7/12 Lake Zurich's Mirco Grcic (34) puts up a shot during the third quarter of Saturday evening's game against Stevenson. Lake Zurich beat Stevenson, 57-55. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2012 11:08PM
For the second night in a row, the North Suburban Lake produced an upset. And for the second consecutive evening, it was Stevenson which was victimized.
On Saturday, host Lake Zurich fought off the Patriots down the stretch for a 57-55 win.
Stevenson suffered its first conference loss of the season to Lake Forest on Friday.
Mirko Grcic (game-high 16 points, seven rebounds) sank a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining in the game to put the Bears (11-8, 2-3) ahead by two.
Lake Zurich junior guard John Repplinger stripped the ensuing inbounds pass from Stevenson freshman Jalen Brunson, and as the two battled for the loose ball near midcourt, time expired.
“This win was huge for our confidence,” Grcic said. “Now, we feel like we can be one of the top teams in our conference. Stevenson already beat Warren earlier in the year, and so with this win, we feel like we can play with anybody.”
Junior Ryan Roach (11 points) and freshman Mike Travlos (10 points) contributed for Lake Zurich.
“I said coming into tonight’s game that the worst thing that could have happened to us was to run into a really good Stevenson team that had lost a night earlier, when they didn’t expect to,” Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher said. “We knew they’d be hungry, but tonight is even more proof that our conference is better than most people think.”
Brunson scored 14 points for Stevenson (10-4, 3-2), which tied the game three times in the game’s final five minutes. Colby Cashaw and Daniel Nowak each added 11 points for the Patriots.
The Bears, who finished 20-for-27 from the free-throw line, started the fourth quarter in single bonus, and were in double bonus for the game’s final 6:34.
“It made a huge difference that they were in the bonus for that long,” Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. “I told our guys not to foul them, but we kept fouling them and it cost us. But our guys could have quit and didn’t. We kept battling back.”