Warhawks improve to 3-0
By Bryan Bonato Special to The News-Sun November 22, 2012 5:52PM
Waukegan's James Betori (14) drives against North Chicago during their basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 21. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
MUNDELEIN TOURNEY PAIRINGS
FRIDAY’S GAMES AT MUNDELEIN
1 — North Chicago (3-0) vs. Lakes (2-1)
2:30 — Warren (1-2) vs. Chicago Uplift (1-2)
4:30 — Lake Forest Academy (0-3) vs. Barrington (1-2)
6 — Waukegan (2-1) vs. Mundelein (2-1)
Updated: January 22, 2013 1:37AM
JaVairius Amos-Mays scored 20 of his team-high 24 points before halftime and North Chicago held off hustling Warren 69-57 Wednesday on Day 3 of the Mundelein/Warren holiday boys basketball tournament.
The game was played in front of a couple dozen fans, as only parents and school personnel were allowed into the gym — a move prompted by student-fan violence at a game earlier in the week.
The rest of the tourney will be played at Mundelein, with the Warhawks (3-0) playing a danger game against upstart Lakes (2-1) at 1 on Friday afternoon.
Warren (1-2) will face Uplift of Chicago (1-2) at 2:30.
Junior guard Eric Gillespie had 26 points for Warren, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
North Chicago led 38-25 at halftime and the closest Warren got was 61-54 with 2:58 to play.
North Chicago’s “Big 3” of Amos-Mays, Big Kurt Hall (15 points) and JayQuan McCloud (18 points) combined for 57 of the team’s 69 points.
Yet, the trio only took four total shots in the third quarter that ended with North Chicago ahead 50-35.
“There was so much chaos from a mental standpoint ... playing in an empty gym affected the kids,” said North Chicago coach King Coleman. “You could tell it affected both teams.
“I liked seeing Mays putting us on his back in the first half. I understand they want to share the ball and want to get their teammates involved, which is a good thing, but we have to keep playing.”
Warren, meanwhile, was not as sharp Wednesday as it was in Tuesday’s win over Lake Forest Academy.
“One of the things we’re trying to establish is a standard of play,” said first-year coach Ryan Webber. “If you don’t want to meet those expectations in practices or games, you’re not going to play.
“We want guys to play at a high level. I thought we didn’t play at a high level Monday, but we did on Tuesday and I liked the way we competed tonight.”
The best competitor was Gillespie, a 5-7 junior.
“Eric Gillespie really played well for us,” Webber said. “He can get really streaky shooting the ball. Tonight, he really shot the ball well, played with a lot of energy. He deserves a lot of credit, not only for keeping us in the game, but helping our comeback.”
Adrian Deere added 12 points for the Blue Devils.
Amos-Mays had 30 points for North Chicago on Tuesday and 18 in the season opener, so he’s averaging 24 points per contest in the early going.
“We’re working on building our chemistry,” he said. “We understand we have to come out and establish a tempo early and we’ve been able to do that.
“We’ve moved the ball well and played as a team. We need to be able to turn it on and finish a team off.”
Lakes beat Barrington and Chicago Uplift and lost to Mundelein in the tourney so far. The Eagles, however, know what it takes to beat North Chicago and always played the Warhawks much tougher than any other team west of Route 45.
Waukegan beat Lake Forest Academy 63-53 in Wednesday’s first game.
Jordan Johnson had a game-high 21 points and Jerome Davis and high-flying Devonte Taylor each had 14.
“The good thing is, we’re 2-1, but we have to play with more energy and more speed,” said Bulldogs coach Ron Ashlaw. “I was proud that we came back after an ugly performance (against North Chicago on Tuesday) and didn’t let a catastrophe turn into a total cataclysm.”
Daniel Joseph from Canada and Ryan Clamage from Lake Forest each had 14 points for LFA in the loss.