The Wildkits triumph over Niles West Friday night (Photo: Cole Cherkasky)

A check of the game film might confirm the fact that, until the fourth quarter Friday night at Beardsley Gym, neither the Evanston nor Niles West basketball teams were able to score on back-to-back possessions.

Good defense or bad offense? You decide, but the Wildkits did finally score four straight times in the fourth quarter when the outcome was still in doubt and escaped the Central Suburban League South division basement with a 49-33 triumph over the Wolves.

Evanston head coach Mike Ellis probably gave the shortest post-game talk in his career at ETHS, then shooed the players back onto the court for more shooting practice just five minutes after the conclusion of the game.

Evanston shot 3-of-20 from 3-point range but limited the losers to 3-of-19 from way out and improved to 13-6 overall. The victory lifted the Kits, now 2-3 in conference play, out of a three-way tie for last place with Niles West (10-9, 1-5) and Maine South.

The Wildkits have continued to play defense at a championship level but wore out the rims at Beardsley Friday night with their shooting woes. Senior guard Rashawn Bost converted 7-of-8 field goal attempts for a game-high 16 points and Prince Adams registered 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots off the bench.

Photo: Cole Cherkasky

ETHS shot 20-of-54 (37%) overall compared to West’s 12-of-50 (24%). Moses LeBlanc led the Wolves with 13 points.

“With the short turnaround to the next game [Saturday at 4 p.m. against Oak Park-River Forest], they need to work on their shooting,” explained Ellis about the unusual sight of the white-clad home team returning to the floor following the win. “If it was up to me, we’d spend the whole night here putting up more shots.

“We got the ball in the correct spots in our offense tonight – we just didn’t finish. All those shots were uncontested shots, shots that we typically will make. Over the course of 30 games you’ll have nights like this, where you can’t buy a basket, so it’s good that we were able to survive and get the stops we needed to get. We didn’t allow Niles West to go on any runs. Neither side was exactly explosive tonight.”

Evanston allowed the Wolves to hang around despite only trailing once, at 4-3, the entire contest. Trailing 33-24 entering the fourth quarter, the Wolves fought their way back within 35-30 on a 3-point play by Pavlos Stamatopoulus with 5 minutes, 14 seconds left.

West’s Dave Flowers pulled off a steal that could have helped the visitors inch even closer, but teammates Flavius Ardelean and LeBlanc both misfired and Evanston finally regained the momentum.

Isaiah Moore sank a short jump shot in the lane, Yaris Irby converted a steal out of the 1-3-1 ETHS trapping defense and Jonah Ross scored in transition off another turnover, with Irby earning the assist.

That last score led to the “mask timeout” and, after a break, the Wildkits boosted the advantage to 43-30 on another fast-break bucket by Ross. Niles West tallied only 3 points in the last 3 minutes.

“We got the shots we wanted tonight,” Ellis pointed out. “They’re making those shots in practice, but you only get 20 minutes of shooting a day and less because you have a couple of partners [during shooting drills]. You need to come in before school and on the weekends if you want to be a good shooter. When the ball’s not falling for you, you always feel you can do more to work your way out of a slump.”

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