Stevenson tops Warren for first NSC victory
Stevenson's boys basketball team started its North Suburban Conference season with consecutive losses to Lake Forest and Mundelein. The Patriots finally found their first league victory, 52-35 over Warren on Wednesday night at Woodlawn Middle School in Long Grove.
Senior Evan Ambrose (8 points and 3 steals), a three-year varsity player, has taken on a bigger role with this year's team of inexperienced players.
"I thought we shared the ball well as a team," Ambrose said. "We have a lot of young guys that have never been in game situations. It's really different and that's the beauty of high school basketball. You cycle through and get to play with different guys every year. It really is a great challenge. This year has been a whole lot of question marks. We're just rolling with the punches and every day is different."
Support was a big key for the Patriots as Andrew Chieng and Jaden Evans had a team-high 9 points and Evan Porto added 8 points off the bench.
On top of the team effort, the Patriots showed some great defense like teams in the past.
"I thought we played good defense holding (Warren) to 35 points," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "We closed on some of their shooters. We were able to shoot well in the first half and drove on them.
"Evan (Ambrose) is a leader and a three-year varsity player, he's got to control the team, he can hit the gas and slow down when he needs to. We do have a lot of inexperienced players. Not only kids that haven't played last year and with a freshman and a couple of sophomores."
Stevenson (4-2, 1-2) led 17-6 after the opening quarter and extended the lead to 32-10 with a couple minutes left in the second quarter. Warren (1-2, 1-2) scored 10 consecutive points and cut the lead to 32-20 at the break. But Stevenson was in control the rest of the way.
Cooper Stacey had a game-high 11 points and 8 rebounds and Andrew Dolan added 8 points for Warren.
"We're turning the ball over too much and that's because we're not executing," Warren coach Jon Jasnoch said. "Sometimes we get good shots and don't knock them down. Stevenson was knocking down their shots. We've got to get better at doing that. We're a good-shooting team. We're just not getting the open looks. That will come with the more time we get to practice together.
"What we're getting is good team chemistry, you see guys throughout the game helping each other and good rotations to steal the ball. It's a team that knows each other very well and plays well together. Stevenson just executed better than we did."