newssun
ALOOF 
Weather Updates

Brunson’s performance almost Scheyer-like

North Chicago head coach Gerald Coleman yells directihis team.

North Chicago head coach Gerald Coleman yells direction to his team.

storyidforme: 45032979
tmspicid: 2784353
fileheaderid: 1680503

KING COLEMAN: RIGHT NOW, WE’RE WAY OVERRATED

Some of what North Chicago basketball coach King Coleman (pictured) had to say after his team was schooled by Stevenson — the sixth straight year that the Warhawks have lost in the NSC Championship Game.

“We have the Big Three in name, but the Big Three are No. 15 (Jalen Brunson), No. 35 (Connor Cashaw), and No. 21 (Andrew Stempel) for Stevenson. If you look at the stats in this game, it will show. All three of them are good. Their whole team is good. They have the supporting cast. hey understand their roles.”

“Right now, we’re way overrated. We’re not the team we were in the first 15 games. There are too many distractions. We won the Prairie (Division title), but the way we’re playing, we’re not one of the top two teams in the Prairie right now. The kids have to make the decision about where they want to be come the playoffs. It’s in their hands.”

“Normally, this is the time of year that teams are peaking, but we’re going in the opposite direction.”

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: March 23, 2013 6:26AM



Points pondered while watching North Chicago High School’s boys basket ball team lose in the North Suburban Conference Championship Game for the sixth straight year.

Kind of wonder if Warhawk volunteer assistant coach Brian Colbert had a sense of deja vu watching the game from the North Chicago bench.

Stevenson sophomore guard Jalen Brunson had 32 points in the game, hit 6-of-9 shots from behind the three-point arc, 6-of-7 free throws, dished out a half-dozen assists, and completely dominated the game in what might have been as great a one-man show against a quality area team on a big stage since ...

Since March of 2005, when then-sophomore Jon Scheyer of Glenbrook North hung 48 points on Waukegan to lead the Spartans to an 82-68 victory over the Bulldogs in the Round of 16 portion of March Madness at Loyola University in Chicago.

Waukegan’s coach that day, who watched Scheyer’s domination from the bench?

Brian Colbert.

Incidentally, that Glenbrook North team went on to win the state title.

Just saying.

Stevenson’s championship was its first North Suburban Conference boys hoops title since 1992.

That was the 28-2 team that was coached by Kenny Johnson and reached the quarterfinals of the state tourney before losing to Peoria Richwoods.

That Patriots team was led by Chris Coleman, Chris Piggott and Eric Roth.

To reach the state quarterfinals that year, Stevenson had to survive a triple-overtime game in the Round of 16.

The team it conquered?

Glenbrook North.

Stevenson did win the Lake Division of the North Suburban Conference in 2003, but was crushed by Zion-Benton in the Championship Game.

The first five years of division play in the North Suburban Conference, Zion-Benton was allowed to play in the Prairie Division (smaller schools), and represented the division in the title game all five years.

Since Zion-Benton shifted to the Lake Division (when Lakes High opened and Lake Zurich was added as league members 13 and 14), North Chicago has represented the Prairie Division in the title game seven times in eight years ... losing every time.

Stevenson’s poms/dance team performed at halftime of the championship game on Wednesday in front of a huge crowd, but that won’t be what the squad members remember about this week.

On Thursday, the squad was slated to perform on the hardwood in Chicago before the Bulls’ game against the Miami Heat.

During the performance, parents/grandparents were to be allowed onto the floor to take pictures/videos.

That said, if any in the Stevenson contingent wanted to stay and watch the Bulls/Heat game, they had to buy a ticket.

North Chicago’s basketball players have red T-shirts that they wear during warmups and put on while sitting on the bench.

On the backs of some of the shirts is the following:

“Academic All-Stars.”

It’s recognition for student-athletes who are getting it done in the classroom at North Chicago as well as on the basketball court.

Given that top players on both sides are underclassmen, you have to figure that next year, the Championship Game will be a rematch ... this time at North Chicago.

There is, of course, always the possibility of transfer-ins and transfer-outs that could change the landscape.

But in late February of 2013, the Patriots and Warhawks are the picks to click ini 2014.

If you want an X’s and O’x breakdown of Stevenson’s win, here’s what it looked like from the packed bleachers:

North Chicago came into the game not expecting Stevenson to be as fast and as long as it was.

North Chicago’s first two passes of the game were deflected and its first shot was blocked.

And that was the theme of the game.

It was obvious 30 seconds in that Stevenson was playing at warp speed and North Chcago was neither used to facing that nor prepared for it.

It literally felt all night as though North Chicago was chasing and never catching, even though the score didn’t always reflect that.

In the end, the score did.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.