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Waukegan's Cornell Fort, Jordan Johnson and DeVonte Taylor scream after Johnson scored on a drive to the basket against Warren at the Mundelein/Warren Thanksgiving Tournament on Monday, November 19, 2012 in Gurnee. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Waukegan rocketed out to a 23-8 lead after one quarter, and then held off host Warren for a 68-61 victory Monday to spoil Ryan Webber’s coaching debut.
Webber replaced longtime coaching icon Chuck Ramsey — who’s now coaching at the College of Lake County — and his Blue Devils played well for the final three periods.
Junior center Jerome Davis led Waukegan with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Aarias Austin had 22 points for Warren, which got within 66-61 in the late going.
“I felt really good about our execution when we were whole (veteran players on the floor), said veteran Waukegan coach Ron Ashlaw. “We’re approaching this group as a veteran group and that goes beyond the first five.
“When we had guys go out, I thought the guys who came in did a nice job.”
Davis was a force all night, as the 6-6 junior controlled play in the paint.
“I had a lot of energy tonight,” Davis said. “I had a good meal before the game and the guys in the locker room did a good job getting me fired up. Having a lot of seniors around me really helps. Plus, if I don’t play hard, I have to listen to Devonte (Taylor, a three-year varsity player) in the locker room.”
Taylor had 14 points and nine boards, but fouled out. Quinton Davis had 12 and Jordon Johnson 11 in the win.
In the other side, Warren’s Webber was disappointed with the way his team staggered out of the blocks.
“The game was won and lost in the first quarter,” he said. “We got away from what we’ve been working on at both ends of the floor. It was unrecognizable. We have to get better staying with what we’re working on ... not self-destructing and putting ourselves in a hole.
“We took some quick first shots that went the other way. It was 23-8 after one quarter, and we played uphill the rest of the way.”
Adrian Deere came off the bench and scored 16 points for Warren. Shane White added 11 and Mitch Cygan seven.
Tuesday night, Warren plays Lake Forest Academy at 7. Waukegan will take on North Chicago at 5:30.