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Waukegan loses opener at Pontiac

Updated: December 27, 2012 5:58PM

Earlier this month, some last-minute heroics from senior Jordan Johnson helped Waukegan knock off St. Charles North and star senior Quinten Payne. The Bulldogs couldn’t get themselves in position for any heroics on Thursday against the North Stars, losing 66-58 in the first round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

Payne scored 10 in the first quarter and St. Charles North drained three-point shots at the buzzer of the first, second and third quarter. The game was tight until Chris Preocanin’s half-court three that just beat the third quarter buzzer. That gave the North Stars a 42-35 lead and Waukegan would never get that close again.

“(Payne) is a very strong, athletic kid,” Waukegan coach Ron Ashlaw said. “He was the best player on the floor this morning.”

Payne, a Loyola recruit, scored 22 points, grabbed six boards and handed out four assists. He shot 9-for-19 from the field and 3-for-8 from three.

“We are a shooting team,” Payne said. “That’s definitely what we do best. We came out shooting well and that set the tone for us.”

Alec Goetz scored 16 for St. Charles North (7-4) and Tony Neari added 10 points and nine rebounds.

DeVonte Taylor scored 19 points and 10 rebounds for Waukegan (7-6) and senior Jordan Johnson added 18 points and six rebounds.

The Bulldogs beat St. Charles North 51-50 on Dec. 9.

“That had an impact,” Payne said. “We knew what each other wanted to do and we didn’t take them lightly.”

St. Charles North advances to play West Aurora in the quarterfinals on Friday. Waukegan will face Lockport in the consolation bracket.

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