Normally when a basketball player misses a month or more due to an ankle injury, the return is gradual.
A 22-point, 7-rebound night is anything but gradual, but then, Lake Forest sophomore Evan Boudreaux isn't exactly your average player.
He missed the last month for the Scouts with a badly sprained ankle. But in his first game back, in a key North Suburban Conference road contest at Lake Zurich, Boudreaux looked like he hadn't missed a minute.
Boudreaux teamed with Yale-bound senior Sam Downey, who chipped in 21 points and 7 rebounds of his own, to down the Bears 59-44. The loss snapped Lake Zurich's three-game winning streak.
"He looked pretty good to me -- like a guy who hadn't missed a month," Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher said. "We had a 6-4 guy trying to match up with (Boudreaux) and Downey inside and they just threw it over us. That's tough to defend."
Lake Forest (11-3, 4-2) broke the game open to start the third quarter and the hosts never rebounded. A 15-4 burst in the quarter turned a 23-18 halftime margin into a 44-23 advantage with 2:21 left in the quarter.
During the run that put the game away, Downey scored 4 and Boudreaux 8 points.
"Sam and I have really great chemistry together on the floor," Boudreaux said. "He can get me the ball a lot and I know I can throw it into him. We work really well together that way."
Lake Zurich (8-10, 2-5) made its run at the end of the third quarter to get the game back to manageable numbers. A 7-0 burst keyed by a pair of baskets from Ryan Roach (7 points) and a bucket from Brad Kruse took the margin to as little as 11 points. Kruse finished in double figures with 10 points. Mike Travlos came off the bench for the Bears to lead the team with 11 points. His long 3-pointer to beat the buzzer before halftime pulled Lake Zurich to within 23-18 at the break.
The visitors seized control of the game to start the final quarter with another big scoring spurt from Downey. Seven straight points from Downey elevated the lead to over 20 points again for Lake Forest at 55-34.
"It was really nice to have both Evan and Carter Bass back tonight," said Lake Forest coach Phil La Scala. "Both played very well and Evan looked fresh. We were worried since they hadn't played in a while that they wouldn't have their legs but they did."
To go with Downey and Boudreaux was an 11-point effort from Scouts senior Ben Simpson, who drained three 3-pointers.