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Unbeaten Warhawks put on a show for home opener

North Chicago 12/3/12
North Chicago's Emmanuel January (45) fights for rebound from Antioch's Cody Gwinn (41)
| Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media

North Chicago 12/3/12 North Chicago's Emmanuel January (45) fights for the rebound from Antioch's Cody Gwinn (41) | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 6, 2013 9:41AM

Showtime returned to North Chicago High School on Tuesday with a big production for the unbeaten team’s home opener.

There was a big-screen/closed-circuit telecast of the game in the lobby, 18 cheerleaders, nine dance-team members, a pep band, and a lavish player introduction for a school that has only about 600 students.

And when the game started, the team did not disappoint.

With junior stars JayQuan McCloud and JaVairius Amos-Mays combining for 43 first-half points, North Chicago built a 47-15 lead at intermission and rolled to a 92-37 win over Antioch.

North Chicago (7-0) will play at Vernon Hills on Saturday — the same night that Antioch (1-4) will play at Lakes.

The Hawks play Vernon Hills on Saturday and Providence-St. Mel on Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Tickets for the St. Mel game can be purchased this week at NCHS. Cost is $10 which basically allows you to watch quality prep basketball all day.

Amos-Mays finished with 27 points, Big Kurt Hall 19, and McCloud 15.

“It was a slow, rocky performance to start (Antioch led 7-6), but we turned it up with our defensive pressure and got some easy buckets,” said Amos-Mays. “It was a good performance for our first home game. We still have a lot of work to do on the road to Peoria, but this was a good start.”

Warhawk coach King Coleman was not satisfied with his team’s showing, even though it did not allow Antioch to get a rebound in the entire first half (14-0 on the glass).

“I’m concerned with our first-quarter starts,” said Coleman. “We’ve been taking off too slow the last three games. We need to execute plays better on the offensive end.”

“I’m disappointed with the progress mentally at this point in the game. There’s still a lot of season left and we’re going to figure it out.”

Antioch was led by Anthony Formella with 12 points.

Antioch was 13-of-36 shooting from the field, while North Chicago was 39-of-76. Mays was 11-of-20, McCloud 7-of-13 and Hall 9-of-12. Hall left the game in the third quarter when he injured himself while committing an offensive foul. He was in the locker room after the game.

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