Jayson Dorsey called it personal. Not just for him, but also some of his Warren basketball teammates, including fellow senior guard Juwan Perry.
Dorsey poured in a team-high 18 points in one of his best performances of the season, but host Waukegan prevailed 65-61 Thursday night at the Dog Pound in the first meeting between the two teams since Waukegan joined the new-look North Suburban Conference.
"I think since we all know these guys, it was a lot more personal than everybody thought it was," Dorsey said. "It was a lot of rivalries. Not just Warren-Waukegan, but upbringings, AAU. Juwan used to play with half of these guys when he went to middle school."
DeShawn Davidson led Waukegan (11-4, 4-1) with a game-high 24 points and 6 rebounds.
Dorsey, whose 10 points in the first half had Warren (4-8, 1-4) within 30-26, scored 5 points in the fourth quarter. His free throw with 54 seconds left got the visitors within 62-61, but Waukegan's Carson Newsome made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 30 seconds.
"Personally, I came out and gave my team everything I got," Dorsey said. "We didn't come out with the win, but I think we took a step in the right direction."
It was just the latest tough loss for the Blue Devils, who've come up short in overtime against Lake Forest (3 OTs) and Lake Zurich. They also have a 6-point loss to Libertyville.
"We got to learn to close these things a little bit," Warren coach Jon Jasnoch said. "But I thought our guys played so hard tonight. I'm proud of the way they played. We practiced well this week. These guys were excited to come to the gym here to play. It's a great gym."
Jasnoch's staff keep what the Blue Devils call a "play-hard" chart, which includes deflections, steals, charges and getting on the floor. Dorsey had 10 "play hard" marks.
"That's a pretty significant number," Jasnoch said.
Branden Ellis and Declan O'Connor (7 rebounds) had 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Warren. Josh Pelland added 9 points on three 3-pointers and also grabbed 9 rebounds. Perry scored all 5 of his points, including a 3-pointer, in the fourth quarter.
Waukegan also got double-digit scoring from Newsome (13 points, 6 rebounds), Bryant Brown (12 points, 15 boards) and Ja'Dyn Brown (11 points).