Big second half puts Stevenson past Carmel

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/1/2021 9:41 PM

In only his fourth game as acting head coach, Stevenson's Chandler Simon has already mastered the art of the halftime speech.

With his team up by just 2 points at the break, Simon got on his team for its less than stellar play in the first half. The Patriots responded and pulled away for a convincing 59-40 nonconference boys basketball win over Carmel at Woodlawn Middle School in Long Grove Woods Monday.


"I am actually known for my halftime speeches where I kind of get after them," said Simon, who has been an assistant at Stevenson and is the acting head coach while head coach Pat Ambrose has taken a pause from his coaching duties.

"I let them know they had to pick it up. I made it clear what we had to get done and what we had to accomplish."

Neither team could separate from the other in the first half.

Stevenson (8-3) had an early 10-5 lead. Carmel came back to lead twice at 18-17 and 24-23. The Patriots were able to take a 26-24 halftime lead on a putback by Darius Clemens at the buzzer.

After Carmel (4-7) tied the game at 26, it was all Stevenson from there.

Using the inside game of the 6-foot-6 Clemens and the play of guard Andrew Chieng, the Patriots scored 14 unanswered points to open up a 40-26 lead with 3:10 left in the half. Chieng had 7 of those points while Clemens had 5 as Carmel never got closer than eight.

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"We have been playing together for awhile," said Chieng, who finished with 9 points. "I think we just did what we wanted to do. We really executed here and it really showed."

Clemens, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds said the Pats were energized.

"We just came out with a lot of energy," Clemens said. "It was kind of slow in the first half. We got that energy going and the magic followed. We were getting some good buckets and we played well."

Simon liked his team's play in the second half.

"One of the keys to the game was to get it inside," he said. "I watched enough film to know where we could hurt them."

The Patriots also got fine play from Evan Porto, who had 15 points, and Jamison Williams, who finished with 7 points.

Bryce Moore and Jalen Burton each had 12 points for Carmel.

"I think we played a pretty good first half," Carmel coach Zack Ryan said. "I think they just wore us down in the second half. We couldn't get any rhythm and we struggled scoring. We were forced to get stops and they ran their offense real well."

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