Herenton, Smith lead Stevenson past Lake Forest
Yes, midway through the third quarter, there was a three-way tie.
Representing the home team from Stevenson were the seniors, Willie Herenton and Justin Smith. Both had 11 points with less than four minutes to play in the quarter.
And so did visiting Lake Forest. That is, with those 11 points.
Lake Forest went on a 9-0 run to finish the quarter. However, both Herenton and Smith each scored 17 points and that was good enough to beat the visiting Scouts by themselves.
Stevenson's sixth straight win wasn't especially pretty but it added up to a 50-30 North Suburban Conference victory.
"Ugly,'' Smith noted when describing the victory. "It was a mixture of good defense and ugly offense. We both played physical. But we needed a game like this. Games like this test you."
The Scouts never led in this game. Smith scored the game's first basket. It was 9-2 on Smith's dunk shot.
"It was good defense,'' said Stevenson coach, Pat Ambrose. "But it was a little ugly. I thought Eric (Zalewski) did a great job on defense and his offensive rebounding."
Zalewski gave the Pats (6-0, 2-0) four offensive boards and added 7 points on offense.
It was foul shooting contest early. The speedy guard, Herenton, was getting to the basket in a hurry. The senior had already taken 8 free throws before he closed the opening quarter with a steal and bucket. The Pats were up 13-6 after the first quarter.
"We were in the bonus early,'' Ambrose said. "That's because we were getting to the basket."
Again, Herenton didn't post any baskets in the second quarter. It didn't seem to matter as he added 6 free throws before halftime. His 11 points were tops on the team and he also matched the Scouts' halftime total of 11 points. The Pats were up 24-11.
Stevenson's lead hit 20 points in the third quarter. Smith's drive to the hoop made it 31-11. And then the Lake Forest offense finally heated up.
Brian Stickler (13 points) made a driving layup and the Scouts had cut the Stevenson lead to 30-21.
"We gave up some runs,'' Ambrose said. "And give credit to Lake Forest for that."
Herenton got off the foul line because of his 7 steals. His final theft increased the Stevenson led to 45-28 late in the fourth quarter.
Both teams were able to reach for the bench late in the game. It took a late 3-point play from senior, Tyrek Washington, to put the winners into the 50's. Again, it's still early for this Stevenson team.
"We are still feeling each other out,'' Ambrose noted. "It's always a work in progress."