A well-executed play by Lake Zurich's big boys couldn't upstage Lake Forest's big-time player, who's not so small himself.
Evan Boudreaux piled up game highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds, Cal Miller added 13 points while helping hold Bears leading scorer Mike Travlos to single digits, and host Lake Forest pulled away in the second half to post a 61-46 win in North Suburban Lake Division action Friday night.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Boudreaux hit a pair of 3-pointers, and his 2 free throws, after his own steal under the Scouts basket, with 1.3 seconds left in the opening half had his team up 26-20.
Lake Forest improved to 14-4 and 4-3 in the NSC Lake, while Lake Zurich fell to 12-9 and 2-4.
"(Lake Forest) had that segment at the end of the half, and then they carried it into the second half and just buried us," Bears coach Billy Pitcher said. "Then we were chasing the rest of the way, and they're so fundamentally sound that it's hard to chase them."
Big Bears Zach Wallace and Will McClaughry connected for a huge play in the opening seconds of the second half. The 6-foot-6 McClaughry lobbed an alley-oop pass from the top of the key to the 6-8 Wallace, who tipped the ball in, bringing the visitors within 26-22.
"We wanted to draw Boudreaux out, and Boudreaux was on Will," Pitcher said.
"We'll always try to get me a dunk to get a little rise out of the team," Wallace said. "If I can lay it in, that's good because we just want to score. I just went up for it and tried to tip it in, and I got it done."
But Boudreaux, who scored all of Lake Forest's 9 points in the second quarter, answered immediately with a baseline jumper. Wallace's three-point play drew Lake Zurich within 28-25 with 7:03 left in the third, before the Scouts took control with an 8-0 run that included Boudreaux's second 3.
Making his first start of the season, the wide-bodied, 235-pound Wallace was the Bears' only double-digit scorer, as he finished with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting (2 of 3 from the foul line) to go along with 5 rebounds.
The Division-I football prospect, who played tight end and offensive tackle for the Bears last fall, missed the first 6 games of the season after coming back from football. He then was sidelined three weeks with a high-ankle sprain that he suffered in a JV basketball game, coincidentally, at Lake Forest.
"Wallace was a really bright spot for us," Pitcher said.
While major-college basketball prospect Boudreaux shined for the Scouts, Miller was effective, too. Three times in the third quarter the rugged guard/forward scored and was fouled on the play. His 7 points helped Lake Forest outscore Lake Zurich 19-9 in the third.
"We weren't shooting the ball that well from the perimeter (in the first half)," Miller said. "I attacked the basket, along with other guys (who did the same)."
Miller also helped limit Travlos to 8 points. It was just the third time this season that Travlos did not score in double digits. The 20-ppg-scorer started the game by draining a 3-pointer. He then scooped in a shot, but the junior didn't hit another field goal the rest of the game.
"I just tried to make sure he didn't get any open looks early, especially from 3," Miller said. "He's definitely an energy player. If he's playing well (early), it just continues. It's like a snowball effect. He did that the last game (26 points in Lake Forest's win over Lake Zurich in December). He was hard to stop."
After Boudreaux's 2 trips to the foul line were Lake Forest's only ones in the first half, the Scouts got to the stripe more frequently. They finished 10 of 16 from the line, as six players shot free throws in the second half.
"The first half I thought we did a good job, too, but we weren't converting at the other end," Lake Forest coach Phil LaScala said. "At halftime, we told our kids to attack the basket and let's see if we can get to the free-throw line, instead of settling for jump shots."
"They were hitting some shots and we were giving them 'and one's'," Wallace said. "That was tough. And we weren't hitting all the shots we could hit."