Augillard, Zion-Benton turn away Warren
Warren was looking to start the new year with a victory.
But visiting Zion-Benton had other ideas when it traveled to Gurnee on Friday evening for a date with the Blue Devils.
The Zee-Bees came out like gangbusters, scoring the first basket of the contest and never looking back.
"It was huge that we jumped on them early," said Zion junior forward Amar Augillard, who had a lot to do with the 61-49 North Suburban Conference boys basketball victory.
"I was just trying to do anything to help my team win."
Whether it was one of his four dunks or a 3-pointer perhaps, Augillard finished with a game-high 33 points. His career high is 42.
"I'll take it," he said. "We broke down defensively a couple of times but Warren's a good team and we knew they weren't going away."
Zion (11-7, 2-2) opened fast when senior guard Floyd Bailey drained a 3-pointer for a quick 3-0 lead.
Then after a pair of buckets by Zion, Warren (4-9, 1-3) got on the board when senior guard Reece Lawler canned a jumper for a 6-2 deficit.
Zion created some separation when it went on a 7-0 spree for a 13-2 lead that was capped by a rebound and putback by Augillard, who ended up popping in 9 of his points in the first quarter.
"He's a very good player," said Devils coach Jon Jasnoch.
Warren closed the period with a 10-5 run of its own to cut the lead to 18-12, which ended with a Devil 3-pointer by junior guard Alexander Figueroa (5 points).
Augillard then scored another 7 points in the second when Zion held its ground, going up by as many as 12 points (29-17) with 3 minutes left in the half.
"They had a big spark early and we had some problems with their pressure," added Jasnoch, whose team hosts Lake Zurich next Thursday. "They also did a good job forcing us into one-on-one situations."
Warren trailed 32-21 at the break but outscored the Zee-Bees 14-9 in the third to cut the deficit to 41-35 at the end of three.
Senior forward Juan DelaCruz popped in 6 of his team-high 15 points in the third, while senior forward Seamus Mellican complemented him with 5 of his 10 points.
But Augillard, who added 9 more points in the third, scored eight in the fourth to help Zion keep its lead.
The 6-foot-5 Augillard's flush with 1:04 left in the game gave Zion its biggest lead (56-41). The Bees led by as many as 15 on a couple of occasions in the fourth.
Senior guard Floyd Bailey pumped in 11 of his 17 points in the fourth for the Zee-Bees.
"We just got outplayed," said Jasnoch. "I like what I see in practice. We just need to transfer that to the game situations."