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Evanston senior forward Pete Winslow had the home crowd at Beardsley Gym on its feet in the opening minutes Friday.
But not even Evanston scoring the game’s first 10 points was enough for the Wildkits.
New Trier used a 20-0 run over the first and second quarters to retire any thoughts of an upset on its way to the 70-39 win. The Trevians’ 10th consecutive victory sets up next week’s showdown with Maine South for first place in the CSL South.
Winslow scored five points in the first three minutes to get the Wildkits (7-16, 1-8) out ahead early, but New Trier (23-4, 8-1) outscored Evanston 38-5 the rest of the half. The Trevians then put up 12 consecutive points early in the third to extend their advantage to 50-17, and they never were threatened again.
“It was an emotional roller coaster,” said New Trier coach Scott Fricke. “I just told them to keep their composure and not panic. “
New Trier senior forward Steven Cook scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second quarter. He, like most of the starters, sat out much of the second half.
“That was the most fun half of basketball I’ve played,” Cook said. “For it to be in this environment doesn’t happen too often.”
Fricke said Evanston’s opening act got his players to sharpen their focus.
“It did wake us up,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge playing here. I’ve never been part of a game like that.”
New Trier junior guard Jordan Thomas contributed 13 points. Winslow scored eight of his team-high 10 in the first quarter.
Maine South also improved to 8-1 in league play with its 41-37 win over Waukegan. The Hawks beat the Trevians 47-45 in overtime on Jan. 11.
“This is how you want it,” Fricke said. “You want the two teams that deserve it to play in the last game like this. Win or lose, we will move on and prepare for the state tournament.”