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Deerfield 11/27/12 Waukegan's Devonte Taylor (21)| Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Dan McKendrick’s home debut as boys basketball coach of the Deerfield Warriors couldn’t have turned out any better.
Playing its best basketball of the season, Deerfield stunned Waukegan 64-56 on Tuesday to climb above .500 for the season at 3-2 and announce it will be a player in the Central Suburban League North Division title race.
McKendrick had been a lower-level coach in the Warrior program, but he looked the part of a seasoned veteran as his club completely outplayed the Bulldogs after Waukegan led 28-19 late in the first half.
Deerfield then went on a 21-5 run to seize control of the game — a change fueled by a defensive adjustment at halftime.
The Warriors went to a box-and-1 to shut down Waukegan’s Jordan Johnson who hit two 3-point bombs in the second quarter.
“This was a great feeling — to get my first win on our home court,” said McKendrick. “This is a fun group of kids who’ve been a pleasure to coach. They’ve worked hard all season so far.”
As for knocking off Waukegan (3-3), McKendrick noted that “I was happy with the effort the whole game. We were able to hit some outside looks and we were able to contain their players on the defensive end.”
In the decisive 21-5 run that wrapped around the halftime break, Alexander Glantz had seven points.
For the game, Eric Porter had 16 points, including 8-for-8 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, to lead the winners. Michael Alfieri also had 16 points, and Glantz scored 11.
For Waukegan, Jerome Davis had 19 points, Quinton Davis (no relation) 15 and Johnson 11.
Waukegan shot just 20-of-49 from the field for the game and Deerfield was 21-of-38.
“They packed the lane on defense and we unable to reverse the ball,” said Waukegan coach Ron Ashlaw. “We need to find someone to hit an outside jump shot.
“Six games in eight days is tough,” he added. “It will be nice to get back to practice.”