Warren routs Lake Zurich, claims share of NSC title

Warren’s third quarter defense was like a swarm of bees.

Leading at Lake Zurich 30-25 at halftime, the Blue Devils just swarmed the Bears and stung them with a 64-39 loss in the North Suburban Conference.

The win enabled Warren to share the NSC title with Lake Forest who beat Zion-Benton Tuesday night.

"We were totally prepared for this game," said Warren’s Jaxson Davis. "We wanted to be conference champions. To do that we knew that we would have to dominate tonight."

The Blue Devils (27-4, 12-2) turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter by outscoring the Bears 21-5.

Lake Zurich (20-8, 10-4) was only able to take five shots from the field with center Anton Streinikov (12 points) scoring two baskets and guard Nick Popovic hitting one of two free throws.

"We talked about cleaning up some of the mistakes we made in the first half at halftime," said Davis. "With Immanuel (Brown) and Javerion (Banks) scoring like they did tonight we are tough to beat."

"When we are at our best is when we are defending like we did in the third quarter," said Warren coach Zack Ryan. "At halftime we talked about getting our guards to pressure them. Our guys did a great job executing our game plan. I'm proud of these guys getting a share of the conference title."

Warren’s defense forced six turnovers in the quarter and converted 7 points. For the game Lake Zurich committed 17 miscues and Warren turned them into 22 points. The Blue Devils turned the ball over 17 times but the Bears were only able to get four points off of them.

Brown, who would lead with 19 points, scored 9 points in the first quarter as Warren built a 16-9 lead.

"We put our work in for this one in practice, " said Brown. "At halftime we told each other that were not leaving here without the win. This was one of our best defensive quarters of the year. I am really proud of this team."

Kain Kretschman scored 8 of his 10 points in the second quarter and Streinikov added 6 points to help Lake Zurich keep it close.

The tide turned early in the third quarter. Banks (13 points) and Brown helped open a 37-27 lead in the first two minutes of the quarter.

Streinikov’s basket with 5:35 left in the quarter was Lake Zurich's last basket.

Davis (14 points, 4 steals, 6 rebounds) hit a three-point basket. Brown connected, then Jack Wolf hit two 3-point baskets off of turnovers for a 50-30 lead with 2:00 left in the quarter. Lake Zurich could not recover.

"We shared the ball well and when we do that we are tough to defend," said Ryan.

"In 3:48 it goes from a five-point game to a 16-point game," said Lake Zurich coach Terry Coughlin. "We had some good things happen to us in the first half but overall we didn't shoot it very well (16-44). The tale is that they did things that they do well in the third quarter and we didn't. They were able to play their game better than we were able to play ours."

  Warren’s Javerion Banks goes up to dunk the ball in front of the home team student section in Lake Zurich on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. John Starks/
  Lake Zurich’s Nick Popovic shoots a three-point shot from in front of the Warren bench in a boys basketball game in Lake Zurich on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. John Starks/
  Lake Zurich’s Nick Popovic goes over Warren’s Jacquari Nabb to the basket in a boys basketball game in Lake Zurich on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. John Starks/
  Lake Zurich’s Adrian Riep and Warren’s Josh Stewart chase the ball in a boys basketball game in Lake Zurich on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. John Starks/
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