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North Chicago's JaVairius Amos-Mays (right) shoots one over Lakes' Jake Kohler during their boys basketball game at North Chicago. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
If ever the final score did not accurately reflect the action on the court, it was Thursday night’s North Suburban Conference Prairie Division showdown between Lakes and No. 19 North Chicago.
Final score: North Chicago 78, Lakes 61.
And now, the rest of the story.
North Chicago (8-1) led 16-14 after one quarter, 31-25 at halftime, 53-48 after three quarters and by just 55-53 with 6:30 left to play.
But just when it looked as though Lakes (7-3) was going to claim the top perch in the division, the Warhawks scored 23 of the game’s next 28 points to skew the final score in favor of the home team.
Last month, North Chicago beat Lakes in a Thanksgiving-week tournament. The teams will play again at least once, and most likely twice, with the final meeting coming in the IHSA Class 3A sectional.
By then .... Who knows where these two teams will be?
For North Chicago on Thursday, Kurt Hall had 13 of his 17 points in the second half, and long-range bomber JayQuan McCloud netted 12 of his 14 points after the break.
JaVairius Amos-Mays added 13 points and 20 boards, role-player Jarrod Colemen had 10 points and 14 boards, and Emanuel January scored 16 points off the bench.
North Chicago was too big for Lakes, and the 48-31 rebounding edge — including 26 on offense — was a key.
For the Eagles, Andrew Spencer had 16 points and Direll Clark contributed 15 points.
“We have no energy right now. That’s two games in a row we played with no urgency,” said North Chicago coach King Coleman, whose team was blown out by unheralded Providence-St. Mel on Sunday.
“They (his players) are very talented, and they can turn it on for a couple of minutes, and then they go back to their non-energy playing. It’s not anything I’m worried about right now.”
On the other side, Lakes coach Chris Snyder was satisfied with his team’s effort.
“We got out-physicaled tonight. That was probably the disappointing thing,” Snyder said. “We showed some flashes, but we just weren’t consistent enough. It gets tough after awhile when you spend so much energy getting the deficit down.
“In the end, we kind of ran out of gas. We still have work to do. We’ll see them again down the line, but we have a lot of basketball to play before then.”