A torrid start from beyond the 3-point arc helped Evanston’s basketball team shoot down visiting Waukegan 66-53 Friday night in a Central Suburban League South division matchup.
Coach Mike Ellis’ squad dropped 26 points on the Bulldogs in the first quarter, boosted by 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, and eased to their third conference victory in four tries. Evanston improved to 12-4 overall behind a balanced offensive effort led by Nibra White (13 points), Marcus Johnson (11 points), C. J. Singletary (10 points) and Will Jones and Elijah Henry with 9 points apiece. Jones notched a team-high 5 assists as the Wildkits shot 47 percent (19-of-40) from the floor overall.
That 26-point performance represented a season-best for the Kits in the first quarter as they sank 9-of-15 field goal attempts. Following a traditional 3-point play by Jones to start the game, Evanston’s next three baskets — by Jackson Mihevc, Jones and White — came from 3-point distance.
Ellis appreciated the fast start almost as much as he appreciated the fact that on this night the Wildkits didn’t fall in love with their own perimeter game.
“As coaches we have to sometimes monitor the number of 3-point attempts we have, but tonight the kids relied on our balance more than the 3s,” said the ETHS coach. “We shared the basketball really well in the first quarter. We’re at our best when we set each other up and find the open man.
“Some nights you just get on fire early, sometimes it doesn’t happen until the second or third quarter. We can play a lot of combinations (personnel-wise), and on certain days some of the guys are more productive than others.”
Waukegan (2-10, 0-3 CSL South) trailed 40-26 at halftime partly due to hot hands from Singlegary and Johnson off the bench. The two seniors scored a combined 18 points and only missed two shots between them, both by Singletary.
The visitors did close to within 10 points at 49-39 with 7 minutes remaining, before Henry recorded all 9 of his points in the final stanza to put the game out of reach.
Evanston will host Niles North at 7 p.m. Saturday in a CSL crossover contest.