2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/14/2014 10:43 PM

Gillespie, Deere help Warren stay hot vs. Maine S.

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By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

When rising Warren star Eric Gillespie hit one of those NBA-range 3-pointers midway through the second quarter on Tuesday night, Maine South coach Tony Lavorato, Jr. had seen enough.

He called timeout and did some major league screaming at his Hawks.

"I just wanted them to play like the good team they are,'' Lavorato said.

His high-volume speech got through as Warren (10-6) never scored again before halftime.

In a back-and-forth game at Warren, the streaking Blue Devils won their fifth game in a row, 48-43, and dealt just the third loss of the season to the visiting Hawks.

What has got into the Blue Devils? Just a few weeks back they had a losing record. Clearly, the play of Gillespie is one reason for the recent winning streak. Also getting last year's star, Adrian Deere, back into the lineup has helped. This senior is almost 100 percent after a knee injury scare.

"It was a simple drill,'' Deere recalled. "And my knee gave out."

Deere delivered a key 3-pointer halfway through the final quarter to give his Devils some breathing room.

"Our team is getting in the groove,'' Deere said. "Our energy level is up."

He's also aware the scoring leader on the team is his fellow senior, Gillespie.

"Eric worked his tail off this summer with me,'' Deere said. "We played on the same AAU team."

But what about all those NBA 3-pointers Gillespie takes in a game?

"He's in a groove right now so you can't say anything,'' Deere said.

Maine South (10-3) was without its starting point guard, Caleb deMarigny (mono) but still opened up a quick 8-4 lead. After Warren surged ahead aided by Gillespie's shooting (19 points), the Hawks used the inside play of George Sergeant (14 points) to take a 20-19 halftime lead.

"We have a lot of respect for Maine South,'' said Warren coach Ryan Webber. "They have good players and they defend well. I'm proud of our kids. We played really hard."

Gillespie hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter but was matched by Maine South's Sean Maloney. Both players hit those 3-pointers in the last two minutes of the quarter. Warren's final 3-pointers of the game came from Deere and Jovan Jokic.

"I was just trying to get something going,'' Deere said of his big shot. "I felt like we were flat and had no energy."

Deere has an offer to play next year at Emporia State University in Kansas next year.

"It's a great place and there is stuff to do,'' Deere said. "There are a lot of places to eat."

Both Deere and Greg Swain added 7 points to the Blue Devils attack. Jokic checked in with 6 points.

This game is included in a tourney that will continue in Webber's hometown of Galesburg this weekend.

In suffering just their third defeat, the Hawks did not play well down the stretch, turning the ball over in key stretches.

"We have the next-man-up philosophy,'' Lavorato said. "But we turned it over the last four out of five possessions."

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