Mundelein surprises Stevenson
The Mundelein boys basketball team wanted to end their regular season on a high note Tuesday night along with getting some revenge against rival Stevenson from a loss to the Patriots 18 days ago.
And with a great start and a solid finish, the Mustangs did just that as they captured a 56-49 North Suburban Conference victory in a contest which they led from start to finish.
Stevenson (20-7, 11-3) found itself in a 19-7 deficit after one quarter, and a 26-11 deficit in the second quarter before bouncing back to cut the lead to 32-25 at halftime.
Mundelein (12-17, 4-10) came out strong in the second half of the back and forth battle with a 14-4 run capped by a 3-pointer by Vinny Rogalski boosting the lead to 43-29 late in the period.
But the Patriots responded once again with an 8-point run to cut the gap to 43-37 before Mundelein took a 45-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
"First of all great job by coach B (Mundelein's Matt Badgley). Mundelein had a great game plan of spreading us out and attacking the middle and their 3's went in," said Stevenson assistant coach John Taylor, who filled in for ill head coach Pat Ambrose. "We just didn't execute. It was just kind of a failure of attention to detail there on a few things, and last game of the year they had nothing to lose on their home floor."
Some crucial Mundelein turnovers helped the Pats cut the lead to 46-45 on an outside basket by David Sulnius with 5:37 to play.
But that is close as Stevenson would get as a 3-pointer by Mundelein's Kevin Moyer (8 points) boosted the lead back to 49-45. Three-point shooting was a huge factor for the Mustangs as they hit 9-for-21 from beyond the arc to 5-for-16 (31%) for the Patriots.
Mundelein sophomore Derek Bishop (game-high 18 points) hit two key free throws for a 51-47 lead before teammate Evan Salvador (8 points) hit two more with 51 seconds left for a 53-47 lead. Bishop added an inside hoop assisted by Emmanuel Willoughby (16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) for a 55-49 lead with 29 seconds to go.
"We just played with confidence moving the ball around, and my teammates found me in the right spots," said Willoughby, whose team lost 47-38 at Stevenson on Jan. 27. "It was a great team effort all around, not playing selfish, getting good shots and that's how it goes."
Stevenson's balanced scoring attack was led by Christian Uremovich with 14 points, Aidan Bardic with 11, Brandon Sorokin with 9, Jack Dabbs with 8, and Sulnius with 7.
"We've just been a group of guys who have been constantly trying to improve and our guys have been grinding and battling all year," said Badgley, whose team outrebounded Stevenson 28-23.
"They (Bishop and Willoughby) have been our offensive go-to guys and when they work together and share the basketball they're really hard to guard."