Hawks survive shaky start
By Bryan Bonato Special to The News-Sun November 25, 2012 5:02PM
Mundelein's Quinn Pokora (white jersey) wrestles with North Chicago's Emanuel January for a loose ball during a game on Saturday. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 27, 2012 6:15AM
North Chicago outscored host Mundelein 43-18 in the second half to erase an eight-point halftime deficit and beat the Mustangs 75-58 on Saturday to complete a 5-0 run in the season-opening Mundelein/Warren boys basketball tournament.
Tournament MVP JaVairius Amos-Mays had 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in the win.
Big Kurt Hall added 17 points and 12 boards, and JayQuan McCloud added 16 points.
Jarrod Coleman contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Emanuel January had 13 points off the bench.
Mundelein got 21 points from Sean O’Brien. He also had nine rebounds, three blocks and three assists.
Quinn Pokora added 18 points, including 4-of-8 from behind the arc, and Cliff Dunigan had 13 markers.
“We told the guys that against good teams, there are going to be games when we’re down by 14,” said North Chicago coach King Coleman. “Are we going to quit or are we going to play a new level of basketball?
“I thought January stepped up and I was happy we were able to establish a post game with Coleman and Hall because we really haven’t had one our previous games.”
Mundelein’s biggest lead was 31-22, and it was 40-32 at halftime. But North Chicago outscored Mundelein 24-8, including a 3:19 stretch that featured a 16-0 run that moved the score from 44-38 Mundelein to 54-44 Warhawks.
“We just came together. We looked at the second half as a challenge, to show that if we play our game, we’re never out of it,” said Hall.
Amos-Mays praised the play of January, a transfer from Waukegan.
“When nobody was stepping up in the first half, January was a great help coming off the bench,” Amos-Mays said. “Transitioning from Waukegan, it was going to take some time for him to adjust, but he’s done a good job.”
On the Mundelein side, coach Richard Knar was happy with his team’s showing.”
“I’m not disappointed in the effort. I was disappointed in our execution the second half,” said Knar, whose team is 2-3.
“The first half, we really executed what we worked on — setting back screens, getting to the basket, or getting a kick-out. In the second half, they extended their pressure, they sped us up, and we stopped running what we had been doing successfully.”