The Forest Scout 2018-2019 Boys Basketball Preview


Bobby Winebrenner, Editor, Boys Basketball Beat Reporter

As the fall comes to a close and the first snowfall brings winter, basketball gyms across the state will soon be packed as teams tip-off their 2018-2019 seasons. For Scouts fans, the team has been practicing for a week and a half and tonight brings the official start of this year’s campaign. With a skilled, versatile, and athletic lineup, Lake Forest has high expectations for the coming season.

Big holes are needed to be filled after losing many talented seniors from a season ago. Leading scorer and North Suburban Conference first teamer Ben Gibson graduated and is currently playing for the Depauw Tigers in Greencastle, Indiana. Gibson’s leadership and offensive reliability will be a huge loss for Coach Phil LaScala’s team. 6’6” Mead Payne, who earned NSC Honorable Mention a year ago, also graduated along with 6’7” Drew Arnson which leaves big shoes for Lake Forest to fill in the frontcourt. The current Scouts will have a hard time replacing the production from the entire graduating senior class and will need to rely on a smaller lineup than years past.

For the second year in a row, Coach LaScala’s bunch squared off against the Orr Academy Spartans from Chicago. However as last year’s team lost a heartbreaker to the talented Spartans, this year’s squad was able to secure a four point victory. Albeit a meaningless summer fundraiser, the Scouts impressed in their first showing and showed a competitiveness that Scout Nation will love to see this winter.


Projected Lineup:

Point Guard: Jake Fisher

Shooting Guard: Michael Pasquella

Small Forward: Tommy Hanson

Power Forward: Jack Bender

Center: Crawford Bolton


Another probable senior-dominated starting five, Coach LaScala will rely on his seniors’ experience to earn many victories this coming season. Fisher and Hanson both saw a good amount of playing time as juniors and Bolton and Pasquella also played sporadically throughout the year. Bender has seen a skill and height growth over the offseason coupled with a newfound confidence which will pose threats to all kinds of opponents. Coming in at 6’6”, Bolton is LaScala’s tallest player and will need to be able to defend many impressive big men throughout his senior campaign. His offensive contributions will also be critical to a team which will need some frontcourt scoring. After starting numerous games toward the end of last season, Fisher will be the team’s catalyst as a senior and the team will go as far as he carries them. Hanson provided deadeye three point shooting off the bench last year and has added a more versatile offensive game to his arsenal this year. Pasquella’s athleticism will be key on defense and in the fastbreak as the Scouts will look to push the tempo with a guard-dominated roster.

Lake Forest will rely on a very deep and versatile bench as seniors through sophomores will all see time this winter. Senior Carter Horan provides a next man up attitude to the guard position and will force teams to check him from behind the arc. 6’3” sophomore Jack Malloy and 6’3” juniors Stephen Young and Andrew Levin add size and talent but will need to get acclimated quickly in their first seasons of varsity basketball. 5’11” junior guard Grant Kaus will also likely be an integral piece of the team towards the end of the season as the Scouts make a run for their first sectional championship.



0 Asher Anderson 5’10” 150 G Junior
1 Crawford Bolton 6’6″ 218 F Senior
2 Carter Horan 5’11” 160 G Senior
3 Grant Kaus 5’11” 165 G Junior
4 Jack Bender 6’3″ 175 G Senior
5 Michael Pasquella 6’1″ 160 G Senior
10 Andrew Crawford 6’3″ 185 G Junior
11 Jake Fisher 6’0″ 160 G Senior
21 Andrew Levin 6’3″ 180 F Junior
22 Andy Brown 6’1″ 170 G Junior
23 Jack Malloy 6’3″ 165 G Sophomore
24 Thomas Hanson 6’3″ 205 G Junior
25 Louis Quall 6’2″ 175 G Junior
30 Carter Mitchell 6’3″ 170 G Junior
33 Stephen Young 6’3″ 205 F Junior


Key Games:

The season kicks off with the annual Loyola-New Trier Thanksgiving tournament which will see the Scouts square off against Butler Prep, St. Ignatius, and Lincoln Park this week with a matchup Saturday depending on how well they do in their pool. The tournament will be telling to how good this team will be. On December 7th, Lake Forest has its first road-conference matchup at Lake Zurich which will be a huge game in the long NSC season. December 21st sees talented Benet Academy visit Lake Forest High School in what will be a huge test to LaScala’s team. February 8th has Waukegan, the preseason NSC favorites, traveling to the competition gym. The Bulldogs return the Brown trio which will test the Scouts frontcourt depth. Finally, on February 20th, the Stevenson Patriots head to Lake Forest in the final regular season game which may have postseason and conference implications.