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Pats playing like they’re county’s best

Lincolnshire Tuesday 02.05.13. Waukegan's Jerome Davis (11) blocks shot Stevenson's Connor Cashaw (35) during their game Tuesday Feb. 5 2013

Lincolnshire Tuesday 02.05.13. Waukegan's Jerome Davis (11) blocks the shot of Stevenson's Connor Cashaw (35) during their game on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in Lincolnshire. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 7, 2013 6:29AM

Host Stevenson caught Waukegan on an unusual night ­— the visitors were without standout point guard Jordan Johnson (ankle injury).

But unless Johnson suddenly developed LeBron-like skills, his presence wouldn’t have changed the outcome of Tuesday’s non-conference basketball game.

Playing like it’s the best team in Lake County, Stevenson flattened Waukegan 66-49 to improve to 18-4 on the season. Waukegan is 13-10.

“Just the way they play, they’re probably among the hardest-to-guard teams,” said Waukegan coach Ron Ashlaw of the Pats. “We’ve gone back to our man-to-man principles of the past. We don’t think we’re really a pressure team with the (lack of) depth that we have. But Stevenson is as hard to guard as any team we play.

“They’re a true motion team. They have some sets and actions within but they run really good motion that requires constant repositioning and constant communication.”

And that didn’t happen for the Bulldogs on Tuesday.

Sophomore guards Connor Cashaw (19 points) and Jalen Brunson (18 points) were backed by front-liners Andy Stempel (14 points) and Matt Morrissey (10) as the game got out of hand early.

It went from a 13-13 tie to a 34-17 with 2:34 to play in the first half. Waukegan didn’t get closer than 12 the rest of the way.

“We did some nice things. They were missing one of their better players, but we played pretty well,” said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose. “They present some problems for us, but that’s one of the reasons we put them on the schedule. It’s good for us in February to have this type of challenge.”

Cashaw agreed. “It’s always fun to play teams you don’t get to see in conference. You always love playing good competition,” he said. “Hats off to our coaching staff. They really prepared us for this game.”

Waukegan got 16 points from Jerome Davis and 11 from Quintin Davis (no relation).

Waukegan plays at Maine South on Friday.

Stevenson hosts Lake Forest the same night.

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