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North Chicago struggles early, then shifts into high gear

North Chicago's Kurt Hall completely surrounded by Round Lake players figuring out play home. | Mark Ukena~For Sun-Times Media

North Chicago's Kurt Hall, completely surrounded by Round Lake players, figuring out at play at home. | Mark Ukena~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 20, 2013 2:04AM



Down 28-27 with 4:29 to go in the second quarter, host North Chicago outscored Round Lake by an amazing 75-14 the rest of the way to win 102-42 Friday in a North Suburban Conference Prairie Division boys basketball game.

After North Chicago (10-1 overall and 6-0 in the division) fell behind the Panthers (2-8, 1-4) 28-27, Round Lake turned the ball over on seven of nine possessions, and North Chicago scored 14 straight points en route to building a 44-30 halftime lead.

Then, after an inspirational halftime talk from coach King Coleman, North Chicago outscored Round Lake 29-5 in the third quarter and 29-7 in the fourth to win by 60.

JaVairious Amos-Mays (29 points, 8 steals, 5 rebounds) led the winners in scoring. Big Kurt Hall added 25 points, 14 rebounds and 3 steals. JayQuan McCloud scored 23 points and had three assists.

Off the bench, senior Emmanuel January had 11 points and 5 assists. But the biggest cheer of the game was for Jesus Perez, who bombed home a three-pointer with 29 seconds that put the Hawks over the century mark as the gym exploded.

“It (trailing in the second quarter) was a reality check,” said Amos-Mays. “We shouldn’t have been trailing them at any point. We started focusing on our defense and closing down on the help side.

“With all the turnovers they gave us, it created opportunities on the offensive end.”

For the game, Round Lake had 44 turnovers compared to six for North Chicago.

“Out of all the conference schools we’ve played, they gave us the toughest quarter and a half,” said Coleman. “I think they just ran out of gas real quick. Coach (Jim) Roberts is doing a heckuva job getting those kids to play. I don’t understand their record.

“If they play other teams the way they played the first 12 minutes tonight, they’ll win some ball games.”

For Round Lake, Karnell Wright scored 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-9 from long range.



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