LAKE FOREST, Ill.– Tuesday night was frustrating for Scouts fans. Coming into the game, the two teams looked evenly matched on paper. But the game that unfolded last night in Lake Forest seemed far from evenly matched from the get-go. Stevenson started hot, drilling tough shots from anywhere on the floor, inlcuding 8 points in their first three offensive possessions of the night. Lake Forest slowly crawled back, cutting the deficit to three points after the 1st quarter. The second quarter didn’t go the same way, as the Patriots took control of the game here and never looked back, eventually hitting a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer to extend their lead to 14 at 31-17. In fact, they extended their lead from 3 to 14 in the 2nd quarter, ejecting the momentum out of the Competition Gym. The second half wasn’t much better–though the Scouts shored up their defensive effort–with the two teams combining for 12 points in a slow third quarter. Finally, the Scouts pressed in the 4th quarter, actually outscoring Stevenson in the final period, 13-7, to trim the final score to 45-35 in favor of the team from Lincolnshire, but it was too little too late for the home team on Tuesday night.
Coach Pat Ambrose from Stevenson deserves a lot of credit in this one. His game plan was very effective against the Lake Forest big men, forcing them into tough shots whenever they got the ball. They employed multiple double teams in the post and specifically made it difficult for Lake Forest big man Mead Payne to get going offensively. The more impressive part however, was the fact that they rarely let the LF frontcourt shoot, as they forced many turnovers on entry passes into the post, and double teamed Payne and Gibson down low when they did get touches. This halted the Scouts offense as their go-to guys couldn’t really get anything going early on in the game. They instead settled for tough 3 pointers, but shot a mere 4-21 (19%) from beyond the arc, with three of those makes coming from Jed Thomas, all in the first half, which kept the game competitive briefly. He and Gibson were the lone Scouts who finished in double figures for point totals with both of them tallying 13.
Stevenson shot the ball extremely well early on, ultimately giving them the momentum and the win. The boys square off at home against Warren this Friday, Dec 8 at 7:00, so hopefully the fans will have something brighter to cheer for this week after the quick turnaround.