Historic night for Brown as Waukegan wins regional title

  • Warren's Seamus Mellican tracks down a loose ball during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Warren's Seamus Mellican tracks down a loose ball during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Players mob Waukegan's Bryant Brown, middle, after scoring 2,000 career points during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Players mob Waukegan's Bryant Brown, middle, after scoring 2,000 career points during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Bryant Brown, middle, gets hugs from teammates after scoring 2,000 career points during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Bryant Brown, middle, gets hugs from teammates after scoring 2,000 career points during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Jordan Brown and Bryant Brown hoist the regional championship trophy after beating Warren in the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Jordan Brown and Bryant Brown hoist the regional championship trophy after beating Warren in the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Jordan Johnson, right, gets cornered by Waukegan's Andre White (4) and Jordan Brown during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Warren's Jordan Johnson, right, gets cornered by Waukegan's Andre White (4) and Jordan Brown during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Bryant Brown (25) drives in for his 2000th career point during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Bryant Brown (25) drives in for his 2000th career point during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Tavion McCarthy, right, drives on Waukegan's Kavon Colder during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Warren's Tavion McCarthy, right, drives on Waukegan's Kavon Colder during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, celebrates with Waukegan's Kavon Colder during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, celebrates with Waukegan's Kavon Colder during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Jordan Johnson right, drives as Waukegan's Jaylin Cunningham goes for the block during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Warren's Jordan Johnson right, drives as Waukegan's Jaylin Cunningham goes for the block during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Cole Thompson drives during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final against Waukegan Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Warren's Cole Thompson drives during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final against Waukegan Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, and Warren's Jordan Johnson battle for a loose ball during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, and Warren's Jordan Johnson battle for a loose ball during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Jordan Brown drives on Warren's Tavion McCarthy, left, and Cole Thompson during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Jordan Brown drives on Warren's Tavion McCarthy, left, and Cole Thompson during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, drives past Warren's Adnan Sarancic during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, drives past Warren's Adnan Sarancic during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Andre White drives in for a layup during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Andre White drives in for a layup during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, celebrates with Waukegan's Kavon Colder during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Bryant Brown, left, celebrates with Waukegan's Kavon Colder during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Waukegan's Ryan Edingburg, left, and Warren's Hunter Subry battle for a loose ball during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School.

      Waukegan's Ryan Edingburg, left, and Warren's Hunter Subry battle for a loose ball during the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday at Grayslake North High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/1/2019 11:05 PM

The tears of joy can wait for Waukegan senior forward Bryant Brown.

There is a sectional championship to win on his home basketball court, after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

His coach caved, however.

With third-seeded Waukegan well on its way to a 66-39 win over No. 11 Warren in the Class 4A Grayslake North regional final Friday night, Brown took the ball well beyond the arc. His teammates cleared. He drove and banked in a shot for his 23rd and 24th points of the game. More significantly, the fourth-quarter points were Nos. 2,000 and 2,001 of his four-year varsity career.

Waukegan immediately called timeout, and Brown's teammates emptied the bench to mob him on the court. When he finally wove his way to Bulldogs coach Ron Ashlaw on the sideline, the two embraced. Ashlaw wiped away tears and then more tears.

"Because he's just the best, best kid," said Ashlaw, getting emotional again after the game. "He was the least concerned about the 2,000 (points)."

"He tried to make me cry," Brown said of his coach, smiling. "If we go downstate, I might shed a tear."

If that's going to happen, Waukegan (27-5) first needs to get past No. 2 Fremd (22-4) in Wednesday's 7 p.m. sectional semifinal at Waukegan.

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In beating Warren (16-16) for the third time this season, Waukegan also got 16 points from Ja'Veon Taylor, who along with Jaylin Cunningham helped ignite the Bulldogs in the third quarter. Warren had taken a 24-22 lead late in the first half when Jason Langevin sank his second right-corner 3-pointer of the quarter. Brown answered with a 3, and Taylor's putback had Waukegan up 27-24 at halftime.

Waukegan then blitzed the Blue Devils with a 12-1 run to start the second half. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Taylor scored 11 points in the third. Included was his second 3-pointer of the game.

Not exactly what one would expect from a kid of his size.

"But those Warren guys know me," Taylor said. "I played with some of those guys in AAU basketball, so they pretty much know I can shoot. But a lot of teams underestimate me. That's an advantage for us."

Cunningham scored all 9 of his points in the third, as Waukegan outscored Warren 26-6 to take a 53-30 lead into the fourth. The Bulldogs' relentless pressure forced 7 turnovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"In the third quarter, that's when we usually get on teams," Brown said. "They tire, and they can't take our pressure anymore. We just had to push the gas pedal coming out of halftime."

"That's us at our best," Ashlaw said. "We're about creating an identity, creating a way that we do things, and there are other teams that we do that against. But it's about us and our commitment to effort, our commitment to teammate, our commitment to focus, our commitment to relentlessness. That's who this team has become -- and it's because of (No.) 2-5 (Brown)."

No. 25 will tell you his success is all about his teammates.

"I couldn't do anything without them," Brown said. "This is my favorite team. These are my guys. I've known them since I was a baby. This is my family."

Brown shot 10 of 13 from the floor (two 3-pointers) and 2 of 3 from the line, while also grabbing 7 rebounds. His teammates couldn't have been happier for him for scoring his milestone basket, which came with 1:44 left.

A proud Brown enjoyed the rest of the game from the bench.

"I'm very excited for him," Taylor said. "We knew he was a couple of points away from getting those 2,000 points. He didn't know, at first. We made it a goal to get (the ball) to him. As a team, we pride ourselves on sharing the ball, being communicative and helping each other out."

Andre White Jr. added 8 points for Waukegan. Taylor and Cunningham had 7 and 6 rebounds, respectively.

Warren was led by Adnan Sarancic's 9 points and 10 rebounds. Juan DelaCruz added 8 points for the Blue Devils.

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