It took awhile for Evanston’s basketball team to find the right tempo in Friday night’s Central Suburban League South division game against visiting Glenbrook North.
Forcing the Spartans to play fast against the Wildkit defense, while at the same time operating at a more deliberate pace on offense, wasn’t as easy as it might sound on paper.
But once the Wildkits figured it out, they breezed to their sixth straight victory with a 65-38 rout of the Spartans. GBN scored just 5 field goals in the entire second half and the last four minutes were played with a running clock.
The two teams resume the home-and-home series Saturday at GBN at 4 p.m. ETHS moved to 3-0 in league play with the win.
Junior Rashawn Bost scored a career-high 21 points and added 4 steals, while Isaiah Holden continued his strong season with 16 points and 6 steals. Blake Peters’ 8 total points moved him past Nojel Eastern to the No. 2 spot on the all-time school scoring list for the Wildkits. He needs 129 points in the remaining games on the schedule to pass Hall of Famer Juvon McGarry, who scored 1,479.
North’s only lead of the game Friday came at 2-0, but the Kits couldn’t put much distance between them, leading 28-21 at halftime thanks to a Holden steal and layup, and his rebound of his own missed shot in the final seconds of the half.
But the Kits held the visitors without a field goal in the last 5 minutes of the third quarter and closed out the period with an 8-0 run that brought a 47-32 lead.
“We played smarter basketball in the second half,” said Evanston head coach Mike Ellis. “It’s always harder to defend 90 feet, when you pick them up fullcourt, than it is to defend 45 feet (halfcourt). We were more alert, and we took better angles on defense. When you take bad angles, like we did on defense in the first half, they’ll be their sooner than you will.
“Glenbrook North is a young and talented team, and Coach (Quin) Hayes does a great job with them. We wanted to speed them up with our defense, and in the second half we slowed down on offense and took what their defense gave us.”
Bost converted 8-of-14 shots from the field, including a couple of 25-foot bombs in the second quarter that prevented the Spartans from closing the gap or even taking the lead. GBN was led by Ryan Cohen (13 points) and Grant Kosla (10).
“I thought Rashawn was alert out there tonight, and the whole team did a great job of finding him,” Ellis praised. “Rashawn will find himself in that situation a lot this year (as the team’s No. 4 scoring option next to seniors Holden, Peters and Elijah Bull). He took advantage of the situation tonight.
“Rashawn has range — he can shoot ‘em from deep — but he’ll make more of them the closer he is to the high school (3-point) line. It has to be his mindset to use that shot to his advantage, because it will open up more territory for him to get to the basket, too. He has that element to his game, too.”