Scouts take on rival Stevenson in NSC opener


Bobby Winebrenner

Tonight, another chapter in the thrilling basketball rivalry between Lake Forest and Stevenson takes place in the Competition Gym. Although, this year, hopefully, the result is different. No Jalen Brunson, Evan Boudreaux, Justin Smith, or Lorenzo Edwards will be featured in tonight’s contest, but you still have two hot teams coming into the game ready to battle for supremacy. Coming off an impressive win over St. Viator, the Scouts have their best chance at Stevenson since their last win over the Patriots in 2012. It’s their first conference game of the season, which goes along with another home game and a “blue-out” from Scout Nation. Without their headlining former superstars, Stevenson will still be no pushover, as the come in (4-0) fresh off a Thanksgiving Tournament championship at Palatine, so the Scouts will have their hands full.

Touted by many Lake Foresters as “the biggest game of the year,” both sides have had ample amount of preparation for this one. Stevenson (4-0) presents a similar challenge for the Scouts as their last game,  an undefeated team coming into the Competition Gym, riding high after a Thanksgiving tournament win. But Lake Forest has seen this story before, and in fact, handled it pretty well in their last outing as they secured a resounding 71-54 victory over St. Viator. Coming off a great performance from their stars–inlcuding Ben Gibson coming away with his first double-double of the season, as well as Mead Payne leading the team with 19 points–the boys are confident this could be the year they take down the Patriots.

Stevenson is led by senior guard Jackson Qualley, who started on a talented team last year. Samvit Ram and Coach Pat Ambrose’s son, Matthew Ambrose, are also in the fold for the six-time defending NSC champs. The team isn’t as talented or athletic as they’ve been in year’s past, but with a 4-0 record, they certainly present problems. Lake Forest will need another great game from their supporting cast if they’d like to stay on top of another unbeaten team.

Their “role players” served a much larger role in last week’s victory, with Jake Fisher scoring 12 off the bench for Coach LaScala. Also, senior point guard Jed Thomas dished out 6 assists, leading the team in that category, in the win. The “Competition Crazies” are back again, looking to help out Lake Forest in every way possible. Let’s pack the stands and root for Lake Forest to earn the win over the rival Stevenson.