Stevenson pieces together another NSC victory
Putting it all together, even under trying circumstances, has carried Stevenson's boys basketball team to success recently.
On Friday, the Patriots had to play a game on the road without Matthew Ambrose, one of the teams' starters. He's recovering from a concussion suffered in the Pats' victory over Warren on Wednesday night.
Stevenson was able to avenge an earlier loss to Mundelein, getting past the Mustangs 49-34 on Friday night in a North Suburban Conference contest in Mundelein.
Jackson Qualley led the Patriots (12-6, 6-2) with a game-high 21 points and 8 rebounds and Samvit Ram added 14 points.
"In the North Suburban, there's a lot of good teams. They compete every night and can beat anyone one on any given night," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "It was tough for us and Mundelein to bounce back after a game on Wednesday night. I'm proud of the guys beating Warren, because they present a zone challenge. Mundelein presents more of a man-to-man challenge. For us to weather that semi-late in the season shows that we've played enough good teams.
"It was a good challenge playing without (Matthew Ambrose) -- he's a good shooter and one of our top scorers. Our kids took to that very well. Our guys did a great job to make up for it."
In a close matchup through the first quarter, Mundelein had a 9-7 advantage and then 12-9 heading into a slow-scoring second quarter.
Qualley scored 7 points in the second quarter, including a key 3 that put Stevenson up 16-13 with 55 seconds left in the first half.
"We just picked up the pace a little bit," Qualley said. "I was able to get some better looks. I just took what the defense gave me. Luke (Cheing) hit me and I was able to knock it down. I felt the team was feeding off me very well and I was able to feed off that."
Stevenson went on to score 7 unanswered points to start the third quarter. Qualley capped the spurt with a 3-point play for a 23-13 lead with six minutes left.
The Patriots held a 30-22 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Mustangs pulled with 30-25 when Tommy Marcotte hit a jumper with 7:05 left.
But Stevenson got its lead back to double digits, with Ram scoring 8 points and the Patriots going 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the final quarter.
Conor Enright led the Mustangs (12-11, 2-6) with 11 points and Andrew Silva contributed with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
"We have been struggling," Mundelein coach Matt Badgley said. "The success for us doesn't have to be in the win or loss column. I thought we had a lot of fight in us right now."
Badgley thinks his team has been in a lull of late but sees brighter days ahead.
"As long as you can keep fighting, you're going to bottom out of that slide a little bit and climb back up. That's what we're going to keep trying to do, and that's what I'm seeing. It's still positive for us."