Undersized Evanston grounds high-flying New Trier

Evanston's Lance Jones (5) drains a three-pointer against New Trier, Friday 01-11-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Evanston's Lance Jones (5) drains a three-pointer against New Trier, Friday 01-11-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

When New Trier’s offense is flowing there are dunks everywhere. Sam Silverstein is flying through the lane for a slam or Ciaran Brayboy is doing pull-ups on the rim after finishing in the post.

There were no Trevian dunks on Friday in Evanston. The undersized Wildkits kept the game played at ground level and knocked off rival New Trier 54-46 in front of a sold-out crowd.

The Trevians didn’t have much trouble feeding Brayboy, a 6-9 Harvard recruit, or 6-8 Spencer Boehm in the post, but the harassment began after the bigs caught the ball.

“We were feisty, just snatching at the ball,” Evanston senior Lance Jones said. “We did whatever we could to make [Brayboy] and Spencer Boehm uncomfortable.”

Both teams came out red-hot, combining for seven three pointers in the first four minutes.

“When you are playing a team [that is] 6-8, 6-9, 6-6 if we are talking about three-point shots, I’ll take that,” Wildkits coach Mike Ellis said. “Whatever that number is. If we are talking about dunks and layups and drop steps and post moves we would be in trouble.”

Evanston (17-3, 4-1 CSL South) led 24-23 at halftime and took control with a 10-0 run to close the third quarter.

“[Wearing them down] was the main focus,” Jones said. “We knew they basically had one good point guard with Silverstein and we wanted to wear him and the big men out as much as possible.”

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A three-pointer from Jaheim Holden with 4:25 left put the Wildkits ahead 48-35. The Trevians looked worn out.

“I thought we were going to crack them in the fourth,” Holden said. “We went on a run and we thought they were going to break but unfortunately they didn’t and they fought back.”

Silverstein had consecutive steals and layups to cut Evanston’s lead to 48-44 with 2:30 remaining. Holden shot six for six from the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the win.

“We shoot a lot of threes,” Holden said. “I’m just thankful we were on today. Sometimes we get off. Today was one of our stronger days.”

Holden led the Wildkits with 22 points, he scored 12 in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Blake Peters had seven points and eight rebounds. Jones scored 10 and senior Ryan Bost added 11 points and four rebounds.

“It was a different player throughout the game for us,” Ellis said. “That is what makes us hard to guard, you can’t key in on one player.”

Brayboy finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Silverstein scored 10 and Boehm added eight points and nine rebounds for New Trier (15-3, 5-1).

Evanston was the preseason No. 2 team, but dropped after losing to Glenbrook South on Nov. 29. Dom Martinelli, the Titans’ big man, scored a career-high 34 points. It’s clear that the small Wildkits have been working on their post defense.

“We learned a lot from that, we needed that,” Holden said. “We were too big-headed.”

Evanston and New Trier will play again later this season in Winnetka, but that will be after the sectional seeds are determined. So this was a vital win.

“New Trier is a very good team,” Jones said. “They have a lot of good wins under their belt. It feels very good to beat them and make a statement.”

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2 comments

  • Will Bradford

    Cindy, the S-T doesn’t pay Michael enough to watch the girls. Sorry.

  • Cindy Graf

    There were two varsity basketball games played at Evanston that night. You went into detail about the boys’ game, but failed to mention the New Trier Girls win by one point, a free throw in the final seconds of the game.

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