Lake Forest's defense shuts down Stevenson
Defensive continuity sometimes takes an entire season to perfect.
The Lake Forest boys basketball team was near perfect for at least an entire quarter Wednesday night against North Suburban Conference rival Stevenson.
The Scouts held Stevenson to just 4 points in the second quarter and didn't allow a point for the first six minutes. That gave Lake Forest a 15-point lead going into halftime and enough momentum to finish off the game. The Scouts handed Stevenson, which was hosting the game at Woodlawn Middle School in Long Grove, its first loss of the season, 48-42.
The Patriots (2-1) shot 1-for-11 in that pivotal second quarter in which Lake Forest had a 19-4 advantage.
"Lake Forest is really good at (defense)," Stevenson guard Evan Ambrose said. "They've played together for a year now and they've got some special guys in that locker room. They communicate really well and they know personnel and plays and all that.
"They are a real special team. They know what they're doing for sure."
Lake Forest is now 2-1 on the season as well.
"Defensively, it's actually been sort of a chore in practice," Lake Forest coach Phil LaScala said. "So I was really happy at halftime with what we did."
The Scouts got double-figures out of three players. Cade Nowik led the way with 12 points while Asa Thomas had 11 points and Jack Malloy had 10 points.
"Coming into the game, coach had a great game plan with the defense," Thomas said. "We did a great job executing it (in the second quarter). We practiced a little over the summer. We got together when we could, so I thought we did a great job of just playing together."
Stevenson came together in the third quarter and immediately cut into its 15-point deficit (26-11).
Guard Jaden Evans (9 points) hit back-to-back monster 3-pointers and Andrew Chieng added a third to cut the Lake Forest lead to 8 points (28-20). Evans added another 3-pointer as the Patriots cut the lead to as few as 3 points late in the quarter.
Ambrose (game-high 17 points) poured in 10 fourth-quarter points to add to Stevenson's flurry.
But Lake Forest was able to hold and get the lead up to as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter thanks to clutch free throw shooting. The Scouts went 10-for-14 at the line in the quarter.
"It was an ugly second quarter, kind of nasty for us," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "Lake Forest is a good defensive team, a little more experienced than us and kind of imposed their will on us in that situation. They made us look not so good. We struggled. But in that third quarter, we hit some shots and got the speed up and that got us going a little bit."