Lake Forest cruises past Warren
It's March and the Lake Forest boys basketball team is tournament-ready.
In fact, the Scouts believe they would have been really ready for the IHSA state tournament.
But with no state tournament this year due to COVID-19, they'll take being on point for the North Suburban Conference tournament this weekend.
Lake Forest had securing a high seed in the tournament in mind when it hosted Warren on Senior Night on Tuesday. The Scouts cruised to a 63-42 victory.
"No matter what the circumstances are, it's just a blessing to play," Lake Forest senior Walt Mattingly said. "We're kind of upset that there's no state tournament because we think we have a pretty good team and we wanted to go for it (a state championship). But the ultimate goal now is to win the conference tournament. We wanted to come out here and win so that we could get the home court advantage for the tournament. That is a big thing for us."
Mattingly was one of four players to score in double-figures for Lake Forest, which moves to 9-3 on the season and has lost only to teams that are state-ranked: Mundelein, Glenbrook South and St. Patrick.
Mattingly led the way with 13 points, Asa Thomas had 11 points and Will Thomas and Cade Nowik each had 10 points.
"Everybody plays together on this team," said Mattingly, who transferred to Lake Forest from Deerfield. "We all love playing with each other and sharing the ball and seeing each other succeed. There's no selfishness out there and that's really fun."
Lake Forest had a lead the entire game and was up by as many as 12 points in the first half. But Warren, which drops to 3-5 on the season, cut its deficit to as few as six points with tough defense in the third quarter.
"At times, we showed that (defensive scrappiness)," Warren coach Jon Jasnoch said. "But Lake Forest is a very smart team and they execute well. They're a tough team."
Lake Forest opened the fourth quarter with a 15-0 run to regain firm control.
"I feel like sometimes our offense gets a little stagnant and we're not moving as much as we should be," said Warren sophomore Cooper Stacey, who led the Blue Devils with 11 points. "But defensively, we've been solid. We communicate well. It's just improving our offense."