2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/14/2014 11:46 PM

The highlights continue for Brunson, Stevenson

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On the verge on jumping to the top of Stevenson's all-time scoring list, Jalen Brunson continues to show that he can, indeed, leap.


"I'll show you some highlights," Patriots coach Pat Ambrose said.

If Stevenson fans missed Brunson's alley-oop finish of a Matt Johnson lob last weekend against Benet -- one of his two dunks in the game -- the 6-foot-2 junior provided another juicy jam against host Mundelein on Friday night.

Brunson powered down a one-handed dunk during a 37-point first quarter, as Stevenson posted a season-high point total in cruising to a 94-55 win. Coupled with Lake Forest's 59-51 win over Zion-Benton, the victory clinched a share of the North Suburban Lake Division title for the Patriots.

Stevenson (23-1, 10-1) -- which owns the tiebreaker with Z-B for the right to represent the Lake division in the NSC championship game -- will win the title outright by beating Lake Forest in the two teams' divisional finale next Friday night.

With Illinois coach John Groce in attendance for the second Friday in a row, Brunson finished with a team-high 20 points, pulling him within 31 of Chris Coleman (1,617 points) on the Patriots' all-time scoring list.

Brunson's breakaway dunk, after Matt Morrissey's steal and dish, had Stevenson up 20-5 with 4:06 left in the first and was part of a 27-0 run.

"I think it just gives our team more excitement and a lot more energy," Brunson, who sat out the final quarter, said of dunking. "A play like that just gets everyone off the bench and gets everyone clapping and going, and gets us more active on defense."

Morrissey finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Connor Cashaw (6 rebounds) and Johnson added 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Up 37-8 after one quarter, with Cashaw's 13 points leading the way, Stevenson had accomplished what it wanted to do.

"We talked about the first quarter because (Mundelein) has been a good first-quarter team," Ambrose said. "They have enough energy, and with the system they play, that's going to be their best quarter."

Mundelein (2-25, 0-11) was led by Derek Parola's 21 points, which included three 3-pointers. Nick Brune sank six 3s and finished with 20 points.

"We've definitely had a chance to win almost every game we've been in," Parola said. "We just can't piece it together for some reason."

Brunson's dunk wasn't the Patriots' only one. Justin Smith finished a 2-on-1 break with a one-handed slam off a dish from Brunson, padding the visitors' lead to 44-15 in the second quarter. The 6-5 freshman scored all 5 of his points in the second in helping Stevenson extend its lead to 55-23 by halftime.

"He's very talented," Brunson said of Smith. "When I first saw him last summer, I thought he was a little sluggish, but he's really coming along tremendously this season. I'm starting to help him, because when I was a freshman, I really needed help learning the ropes. Everyone's boosting Justin's confidence."

Mundelein's J.T. Michalski has had a knack all season of drawing charges, and the senior added 2 more to his total in the third quarter -- against Division-I prospects Cashaw and Brunson, no less.

"That's toughness, standing there," Parola said. "I know charges hurt a little bit."

Thirteen players scored for Stevenson, which was up 81-39 after three.

"Definitely the best team we've played," Parola said. "They got the players. They got everything."

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