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Stevenson showdown next in battle of area powers

Updated: March 14, 2013 6:25AM

After two subpar performances, North Chicago’s boys basketball team was back in top form on Tuesday, tuning up for the Game of the Year by thrashing host Round Lake 100-58.

The Warhawks (24-2) now take on Class 4A power Stevenson in Lincolnshire next Wednesday in the North Suburban Conference Championship Game.

North Chicago’s the No. 1 seed in a 3A sectional and Stevenson’s the No. 1 in the 4A Waukegan Sectional.

Based on Tuesday’s performance, North Chicago is ready.

“Our last two practices have been off the chain. Playoff time is a whole new season and we just turn the intensity up,” said Warhawks coach King Coleman. “They’ve practiced so hard and they brought that same intensity to tonight’s game.

Big Kurt Hall led the win with 26 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.

“Kurt Hall reminds me of Aaron Simpson (last year’s star) around the postseason,” Coleman said, “where he doesn’t care about his stats. The whole game, he’s trying to get everyone involved.

“He scores when he has to, but there’s no more forcing shots.”

Coleman also praised his other star on the court, JayQuan McCloud.

“JayQuan (22 points) is letting the game come to him. He’s not rushing it,” the coach said.

Tuesday’s game marked the return of four players from two-game suspensions. Another, leading scorer JaVairius Amos-Mays, will miss the Stevenson game and then return.

In his return, Joseph Thomas had eight points, while Travaris Knox added four.

James Mobley had 23 points for Round Lake, and Karnell Wright added 18.

This game marked the return of Panther Rayshawn Bommon (wrist injury), who missed five weeks. He had six points.

“We’ve been without pieces all year. We finally got Rayshawn back tonight,” said Panther coach Jim Roberts. “As a group, we’re finally back at full strength. Now, it’s about moving forward and continuing to improve.

“These North Chicago games ... they are what they are. Number 1, they are a very good basketball team, and the game can get out of hand, but there’s always are things to build on and things to learn from.”

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