Stewart's 24 leads Lisle past Westmont for 7th straight win

 
By Bobby Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/8/2022 9:15 PM

Lisle's Tubari Stewart opened up Tuesday's game with a highlight-reel play.

The senior center blocked Westmont's first shot of the game, sending a message that this could be a special game for him.

 

From that point, the 6-foot-7, 175-pound Stewart kept on adding big-time plays to lead the Lions to a 56-40 road win over Westmont.

Stewart was a force on both ends, blocking shots, running the court, hitting 3-pointers and attacking the glass for putbacks.

He finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 3-pointers in two-plus quarters of play to lead the Lions (16-10) to their seventh win in a row. Ethan Malavia scored 10 points and Nick Jachim added 8 points for the Lions.

"We came out of the locker room with a lot of energy and we were very well prepared for this game," Stewart said. "It was a big night.

Early in the first quarter, Stewart rarely touched the ball which led to a slow start for the Lions. Stewart eventually put his stamp on the game, scoring eight straight points to pad the lead to 14-4. That was a theme throughout the game -- Stewart scoring in bunches.

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In the second quarter, Stewart one-handed left-handed dunk on the fast break pushed the lead to 19-11. Several possessions later, Stewart swished a rainbow 3-pointer from the corner, strutting up the court to the delight of Lisle's large student crowd.

Lisle coach Mark LaScala said Stewart, a fluid player with two-way skills to go with a developing perimeter game, is a player with a high upside.

"He's kind of an under-the-radar guy," he said. "It's hard to because he's 6-7. He's gotten better and better throughout the year. We're excited about his future. He's going to be a great player. I appreciate his hard work, and tonight was a big night for him."

Even in limited minutes, Stewart was impactful in many aspects of the game.

Stewart buried a top-of-the-key 3-pointer, then hit a 15-footer within a few seconds early in the third quarter before exiting the game. Stewart, a three-sport athlete, said he's still mulling over his college options. He missed all of his junior season due to a knee injury, thus only has one offer from Central College.

"The whole time last year I was working on my shot and improving my game," Stewart said. "I'm very excited about my future. I'm hoping to go somewhere big."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Lisle junior point guard Tyrese Watson finished with 6 points, highlighted by a steal and a coast-to-coast layup midway through the second quarter. Watson said the Lions, led by Stewart, have the potential to make a run in the Class 2A playoffs.

"This win means a lot, especially since we have seedings tomorrow," he said. "When we get Tubari going, it gives the whole team more energy when he gets dunks. We're trying to win out, win all of our playoff games."

Senior Nikola Bogdanovic paced the Sentinels (8-18) with 14 points.

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