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On Senior Night at North Chicago High School, Warhawks coach King Coleman started five seniors — only one of whom usually sees the floor for the opening tip.
The result? An 18-7 lead for North Chicago after one quarter — the launching pad for an 86-51 win over Vernon Hills in a North Suburban Prairie boys basketball game.
Seniors Terrance Smith, Travaris Knox, Jay Finch-Pettis, Emmanuel January and Jarrod Coleman started for the home team.
Knox had 10 points in the first period as the seniors gave the Big 3 (JayQuan McCloud, Big Kurt Hall and JaVairius Amos-Mays) a double-digit lead to start the second period. The lead grew to 37-20 at halftime and the Hawks rolled to their 22nd win in 23 games.
“Those senior starters played with high intensity tonight,” said Coleman. “I told them I expected them to play as if the other guys were out there. I need to see who we have onboard as this playoff run starts.”
Clearly, Coleman has nearly a dozen players poised to contribute, including his three stars, all of whom are juniors.
Amos-Mays led with 19 points on Saturday, and McCloud added 10. Amos-Mays had a pair of highlight-reel dunks in the fourth quarter.
Among the starters, Knox had 10 points and Coleman nine.
“Knox (a 6-4 senior) is playing the way we expect him to play,” said his coach.
“We need him and we need what he brings to the table. He can score and he can rebound.”
Coleman also was happy with the way his Big 3 are bringing their teammates into the mix.
“I love the attitude of the Big 3. They know it’s about the team and understand the big picture.”
Vernon Hills was led in scoring by senior Stephen Curry with 15 points. Dylan McNamara scored eight, all in the first half.