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North Chicago's JaVairius Amos-Mays (2) takes a shot over a Wauconda defender. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
North Chicago coach King Coleman long ago grew weary of watching his powerhouse team play the first 12 minutes of every game like the opponent was the Miami Heat.
If that’s true, the coach was plenty tired on Wednesday after watching his team trail Wauconda 21-16 after 9 minutes and 44 seconds of game action.
In the end, of course, North Chicago prevailed in a romp — using a 12-0 second-quarter run and a 19-2 surge in the third quarter to set up the 77-49 victory.
The Warhawks are now 15-1 overall and 6-0 in the North Suburban Prairie.
Wauconda is 3-2 and 9-7.
Still, it was an unusual night, including a bit of verbal sparring in the first quarter between North Chicago’s coach and a fan in the stands who was asked to leave the gym..
Eventually, everything got back to normal, with North Chicago’s “Big Three” of JayQuan McCloud (26 points, eight rebounds), Kurt Hall (17 points, nine rebounds, four assists), and JaVairius Amos-Mays (nine points, eight rebounds, six assists, five steals) dominating the opponent.
“We’re not tight right now,” Coleman said, referring to the team not united on or off the court. “I’m looking for some growth and I haven’t seen it.
“How can we beat all these [good] teams like Peoria Notre Dame and Rock Island, and struggle with Wauconda?
“There’s no killer instinct in this team right now and they need to find it.”
In the team’s defense, Wauconda did win the Marengo holiday tourney and they have a very good player in Austin Swenson.
On this night, Swenson had 12 points and nine rebounds, Ricky Sidlowski added 12 points and Codey Thomas scored 19.
“The thing we’re looking for is for them to improve throughout the season,” Coleman said. “Hopefully, we start seeing it.”
The next chance will be Saturday night against 2-12 Libertyville.