Cashaw, Stevenson take command at Warren
It's worth replaying that sequence just one more time.
It came in the third quarter of the Stevenson-Warren boys basketball game Tuesday night in Gurnee.
Stevenson's very tall guard, Connor Cashaw, blocked a Warren shot and then collected the basketball for a rebound as well.
Evidently not totally satisfied with his defensive prowess, the Pats senior took his newly found basketball and raced downcourt to put that ball in the hoop.
"It's like my Dad tells me, to trust my instincts,'' Cashaw said. "Warren is a tough atmosphere to play in. We lost to them when we were sophomores.
"Warren has a great coaching staff."
And Warren (12-13, 5-7), had been playing well of late, with 8 wins in its last 10 games.
It showed early, and after a Maurice Chambers' 3-pointer, this North Suburban Lake contest was knotted up at 7-7 midway through the opening quarter.
That was about the extend of the good news for the Blue Devils, though.
Stevenson (21-2, 11-0) won the third quarter 20-5 and strolled to a comfortable 57-37 win. The outcome clinches a tie for the NSC Lake title for the Patriots, who host second-place Lake Forest (10-1 in the Lake) on Friday in a league finale.
"In that third quarter, we locked it up,'' said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose. "We shared the ball well."
The Patriots played with the services of shooter Matt Johnson. But again Lake County's top team -- and Illinois' as well, as Stevenson is again ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press state poll -- had others step up.
In this case it was junior Ryuji Aoki. He hit three 3-pointers (including one from NBA range) and finished with 11 points.
"They just have too many good players,'' said Warren coach Ryan Webber. "And they get a reserve (Aoki) come in and get 11 points. Plus they shot the lights out."
After the Devils had forged that 7-7 tie, the visitors went on a 9-0 run.
Cashaw (16 points) closed the opening quarter with 3-pointer. The other 16-point scorer in the Stevenson lineup was standout senior guard Jalen Brunson.
"They also have the best high school player in the world,'' Webber joked.
Brunson also collected three 3-pointers on the night.
Cashaw closed the scoring before halftime. His steal and score led directly to a 3-point play, and Stevenson had doubled Warren's scoring at the break, 26-13.
Jake Falish (7 points) hit his lone 3-pointer in the third quarter. But Warren only finished with 5 in the period, as Brunson, Cashaw and Aoki each scored more points than the Blue Devils did in the third.
"You just can't get into a shootout with Stevenson,'' Webber said. "It's called suicide."
It wouldn't be a Stevenson game if the Pats didn't get a least one dunk. And it came in the fourth quarter, as Brunson led Justin Smith (8 points) for a perfectly hammered slam before both coaches cleared their benches.
Warren scored more points in the fourth quarter than it had in the previous three quarters combined. Warren senior Calvin Payawall had 6 of his team-high 10 points in this final quarter. Stevenson's lead had hit 30 points (50-20) early in the period.
Caleb Reams hit a 3-pointer in the final half-minute for Warren before Jayson Dorsey's steal and bucket officially cut the Stevenson lead back to 20 points.