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Lake Zurich's Jack O'Neil (30) passes around Warren's Mitch Cygan (34) and Aarias Austin (3)| Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Lake Zurich scored 15 straight points around the halftime break to take the lead, and then scored the game’s final three points to stun host Warren 53-50 on Tuesday night in a prep boys basketball game in Gurnee.
Derek Mason came off the bench and hit five straight shots and scored 13 points to help Warren lead 28-21 at intermission. (He only took two shots in the second half and finished with a game-high 16 points).
But the 15-0 run helped put the Bears up 37-33 after three quarters in a game that eventually was tied at 50-50 when Warren’s Adrian Deere hit two free throws with 2:19 left.
Brad Kruse then found Jack Arends cutting to the basket for a layup with 50 seconds left to put Lake Zurich up 52-50, and the lead held when Warren’s Arthell Rosquist missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity with 30 seconds to play.
With nine seconds left, Lake Zurich’s Ryan Roach (team-high 15 points) made one of two free throws to complete the scoring, and Warren turned the ball over after grabbing the missed second free throw.
Lake Zurich missed two free throws with 3.4 seconds left, but Warren turned the ball over again on the inbounds pass to end it.
Winning coach Billy Pitcher said he called two plays during a timeout at 50-50 — one for a man-to-man defense and one for a zone.
As it turned out, Warren went man, and Arends got open with a nice cut.
“We said we’re either going to get an open layup, or we’re taking the last shot of the game,” said Pitcher. “I told them in the huddle that we’re going to win this game and you could see they were fired up.
“Warren spread out and Jack Arends did a nice job cutting to the basket and finishing. That was huge.”
On the other side, first-year coach Ryan Webber was disappointed after seeing his team get outrebounded 25-15 and commit 12 turnovers in the final three quarters.
“I just thought we had poor effort in the second half and Lake Zurich had a tone of energy and effort,” Webber said. “They played to win. We didn’t execute very well, but most importantly, I thought they were a step quicker than us in the second half.”
Deere had 14 points for Warren and Aarias Austin had six assists but was 2-of-13 shooting from the field.
Mike Travlos had 10 points off the bench for Lake Zurich, while Kruse and sophomore center Will McLaughry each scored eight.
Both teams are now 2-4 in the Lake Division of the North Suburban Conference. Warren is 8-8 and has lost three straight, and Lake Zurich is 8-9 and has won three straight.