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Andrew's Jerimie Richards, left, and Jacob Platt double team Stagg's Mike Scatena Friday in Tinley Park. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
If there were any doubting the importance of Jubril Adekoya to Andrew’s success, it was made abundantly clear Friday night against Stagg.
Without Adekoya, out with an ankle injury suffered Tuesday in a loss to Thornton, Stagg made quick work of host Andrew in a 66-35 SouthWest Suburban Red victory.
In the District 230 rivals’ first meeting of the season on Dec. 7, Andrew downed Stagg 66-56, with Adekoya totaling 19 points and 16 rebounds. The four-year varsity starter is averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds per game this season.
“He’s a great player, and it would have been a closer game,” said Stagg coach John Daniels, whose team converted 26 of 49 field goals. “We’re a better team than we were in December. They could have had Taj Gibson out there and we still would have been competitive.”
The Chargers (16-5, 6-3), 5-1 since Christmas break, roared out to a 14-2 advantage behind the play of Kevin White. The junior scored the first six points of the contest and finished with a game-high 24 points.
The closest the Thunderbolts would get was 16-7 after one quarter of play. It was the final time Andrew was within single digits the rest of the game.
“I just wanted to come out and attack early,” said White, who scored 10 points in the opening period. “Coach (Daniels) wanted me to play aggressive and play within myself.”
Max Strus added 18 points and Steve Kubiak 12, the latter all on three-pointers, to aid the Chargers and thrill their supportive student section.
“We knew if we got behind them early, it would have been tough coming back,” Strus said. “Especially with the way their crowd is. It helped having a great crowd for us, too.”
Glorind Lisha led Andrew with 12 points, though he was just 4-of-21 from the field, mirroring the team’s shooting woes (12-of-49).
“We’re a different team without Jubril,” Andrew coach Mike O’Halloran said. “They shot the ball well. It certainly wasn’t a lack of effort by us.”