By: Luke Drase
Evanston basketball hasn’t lost a step.
Coming off a tough loss to Conant, Evanston bounced back in a big way, in their dominating 85-75 win over Libertyville in the final game of the Majkowski Classic.
“Our guys weren’t happy with the way they played last game and that kinda carried over,” said Evanston coach Mike Ellis. “I think the tone of the game was really established in those first four minutes.”
Within those first four minutes of the contest, Evanston raced out to a 16-4 lead. The Evanston defense smothered Libertyville, forcing 10 turnovers in the first quarter that led to easy run outs.
By the end of the first quarter, not only did Evanston hold a 29-9, but they also managed to keep Libertyville’s Drew Peterson off the score sheet.
Ellis said: “I don’t know if it’s something we did or sometimes a great player like that comes out and try to find his way into the game and get his teammates going first, but we definitely took advantage. He’s a hard player to guard inside and out and I thought our guys were really active in the passing lanes, making them play their offense from one step further out.”
Peterson would eventually find his footing starting in the second quarter, but Evanston continued to force the issue, with Lance Jones and Jaheim Holden driving to the basket, and Blake Peters waiting behind the three point line for the kick out.
Libertyville would slightly cut into the Evanston lead largely due to Peterson’s 12 second quarter points, but the Wildkits were still in control with a 47-33 lead.
Evanston’s frantic scoring pace slowed down ever so slightly in the third quarter, but the defense remained solid and Libertyville were unable to capitalize.
Despite Peterson’s best efforts (a game high 35 points), Libertyville were never able to cut the deficit to single digits, as Evanston would go on to win 85-75.
The Wildkits were led by juniors Jaheim Holden (26 points), Lance Jones (23 points) and freshman Blake Peters (19 points). Ryan Bost also played an important role for Evanston with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
“We’ve got a team where we have a lot of confidence in guys that can put the ball in the basket all the way around,” said Ellis. “When we’re playing through one another in the framework of our offense or even in transition we’re going to get good shots and coincidently this was out highest shooting game of the season.”
Evanston’s next game will be a CSL South matchup against GBS, next Thursday at 7:00.