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Like an unwanted house guest that won’t leave, Lake Zurich kept hanging around in Tuesday night’s North Suburban Lake boys basketball game against Mundelein.
But over the course of four quarters, the Mustangs superior talent won out, as they defeated the Bears 74-65.
Down 38-24 at the break, Lake Zurich (3-4, 0-2) came out firing, mostly thanks to the hot hand of guard Mike Travlos. The sophomore scored 13 of his team-high 20 points in the third quarter, including three three-pointers. Travlos scored six points during an 8-2 Bears run that cut the deficit to 53-48 with two minutes left in the quarter.
“Our coach [Billy Pitcher] got us fired up at halftime,” senior guard Ryan Roach said. “We came out, we pressed, put the pressure on them.”
After opening up its conference schedule with a loss to Lake Forest, Mundelein (3-4, 1-1) was determined not to lose its second in a row. Nate Williams drained a three-point shot to get the lead back to 59-49 with four minutes remaining in the game.
Two minutes later, Lake Zurich cut the lead to 62-56 on a layup from senior guard Jack Arends (16 points). But like they did all night, the Mustangs had an immediate answer. Senior guard Chino Ebube’s (13 points) slam dunk was followed by a layup from senior forward Cliff Dunigan, who’s basket made it 66-56, putting the game out of reach with just under two minutes remaining.
“After we lost to Lake Forest we said we have to win the next one,” said Dunigan, who finished with 17 points and shot 10-of-11 from the foul line. “We have to win out. That’s our big goal this year, to win conference.”
Mundelein senior Sean O’Brien led all scorers with 22 points.
Roach and junior Brad Kruse each had 12 points for the Bears.