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Friday, April 19, 2024

Bolingbrook’s athletism too much for Naperville North in NIU Super-Sectional


The sheer honesty espoused by Mitch Lewis, Naperville North’s senior leader, was very easy to see and understand.

Bolingbrook is indeed a different breed of basketball.

After the display the Raiders put forth during Tuesday’s Class 4A Northern Illinois Super-Sectional, that point became quickly apparent.

“I can honestly say – all five spots – I’ve never really played a team with all five positions having guys that fast and strong,” Lewis said. “All their players can handle the ball and it’s tough to guard them. They’re really fast. Credit to them.”

Four Raiders reached double figures as they coasted to an 83-57 victory over the Huskies.

Junior guard Kaleb Thornton had a game-high 20 points for the Raiders while sophomore forward Tyler Cochran added 19.

While Naperville North (25-6) ends one of its best years in recent memory, Bolingbrook (29-1) advances to Peoria for the state semifinals for the second time in three years.

Huskies’ junior center Chris Johnson scored a team-high 13 while both Lewis and sophomore guard/forward Tom Welch scored 12.

Its final lead of the game coming on a Tabo Tarun three-pointer with 2:58 left at 13-12, Naperville North fell victim to Bolingbrook’s pressure.

Seven third-quarter turnovers turned a 39-28 Bolingbrook lead at halftime into a 61-37 advantage going to the final quarter.

All told, the Huskies committed 16 turnovers.

“They have a lot of weapons and they’re very explosive,” Naperville North coach Jeff Powers said of the Raiders. “And were trying to get back. Probably a little bit of my fault that we didn’t emphasize how fast they were and how much they had to get back because they were very, very fast.”

For the game, the Huskies shot 38.9 percent from the field, which included going six-of-25 from the three-point line.

“Coach (Jeff Powers) always says … he’s only had one other team have the ‘NDE’ and he gave it to us because he knew we’d always bounce back,” Johnson said. “We’d never give up. Even if we go down 20, we got to play it like we’re still in the game. … Our shots wouldn’t fall enough.”

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Blake Baumgartner
Blake Baumgartner
Raised in Naperville, Blake Baumgartner is a 2001 Naperville Central alumnus and a 2005 graduate of Michigan State's School of Journalism. Since March 2010, he has covered football, boys' basketball and baseball for both The Naperville Sun and Positively Naperville. Follow him on Twitter @BFBaumgartner.


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