Stevenson downs Lake Forest to advance to NSC tourney title game
It was energy and intensity that led Stevenson to its seventh win in a row.
Patriots' senior Jacob Morris led by example while on the floor and gave extra effort for winning a loose ball in the third quarter.
Third-seeded Stevenson surprised second-seeded Lake Forest 41-34 on the road in the North Suburban Conference boys basketball tournament semifinal Tuesday night.
Morris contributed with 5 points and 4 rebounds, but on the sprawl for the loose ball, he went head first diving for it and managed to beat everybody to get a touch and control of the ball.
"I do remember the play and I was just trying to make the play for my teammates," Morris said. "I knew if I didn't put my body on the line, and all the energy I had in this game, we would go home. I don't think it matters what position I'm in. I'm going to lay it out on the floor and dive on that ball. I feel I can spark a lot of energy for us. I know with 10 guys on the bench, we need as much noise and hustle as we can get."
The game itself was back and forth in the first half with Lake Forest up 13-10 at the break.
Stevenson (12-3) opened with an 8-1 run in the third quarter with Evan Porto dropping in 3 of his 9 points and the Patriots led 21-14 with 4:21 left and a took a 26-12 advantage entering the fourth.
The Patriots held the lead in the final quarter. The Scouts had cut it to 3 points at 37-34 with full court pressure down the stretch and Will Thomas' short jump-shot. But Stevenson answered with a pair of free throws from Morris and Andrew Chieng in the final seconds for the difference.
Jaden Evans lead the Patriots with 10 points.
"The guys are having a good time at this point," Stevenson assistant coach Chandler Livingston Simon said. "Great time and they are playing for each other and playing together. They're executing things down the stretch."
Lake Forest (11-4) was lead by Jack Malloy with 11 points.
Stevenson will next host Libertyville (9-7) in the tourney final on Friday to be played at Woodlawn Middle School in Long Grove.