Jones leads Kits to 61-49 win against New Trier

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Jones leads Kits to 61-49 win against New Trier

Senior Lance Jones dribbles down the home court of Beardsley Gym.

Senior Lance Jones dribbles down the home court of Beardsley Gym.

Jonah Charlton

Senior Lance Jones dribbles down the home court of Beardsley Gym.

Jonah Charlton

Jonah Charlton

Senior Lance Jones dribbles down the home court of Beardsley Gym.

Eli Cohen, Sports Captain

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It doesn’t have to be pretty if it gets the job done.

Offense was a luxury in the first half of Friday night’s game, as the teams went into the locker room with the score at 22-21 in New Trier’s favor.

After the intermission, however, ETHS flipped the switch as the Kits scored 41 points in the second half, led by senior guard Lance Jones, who scored 15 of his 22 points in the third quarter.

“I just told myself I needed to come out aggressive,” Jones explained. “I didn’t feel like I played aggressive enough in the first half and I just wanted to apply pressure starting in the second half.”

Jones’ urgency was on display as soon as the second half began, scoring the first ten points for the Kits while attacking the basket with ease.

“I always try to find something else to do when know my shot’s not falling,” Jones said. “I’ll just try to help my teammates and do what’s best for the team.”

Jones’ impact was far more than just on the offensive side though, as the Southern Illinois commit tallied seven steals on the night to help spark Evanston’s offense with easy fast break buckets in the second half.

“I just told our guys to stay with it,” coach Michael Ellis said regarding the slow first half. “I thought our guys did a good job of not being frustrated [and asking] why aren’t we going on runs? why aren’t we generating offense from our defense? They (New Trier) were just too fresh for that to happen.”

Despite New Trier missing their starting point guard Sam Silverstein and their star center and Harvard commit Ciaran Brayboy, they found ways to stay in the game until the end of the fourth quarter.

“New Trier was smart about it, used timeouts to rest, would platoon with a minute to go in the quarter,” Ellis said. “[New Trier] Coach [Scott] Fricke does an outstanding job, when you lose your starting point guard for the year, it puts a lot of pressure and strain on you to initiate your offense.”

Fricke did all he could to put the Trevians in the best situation to beat the Kits and tie Evanston for the CSL South, but in the end ETHS’ lineup was just more talented than the Trevians and proved that by taking the game as well as the sole title of CSL South champions.

Evanston, 25-4 (9-1),  has now won their last nine conference games after opening up the CSL slate with a loss to Glenbrook South.

New Trier, 22-5 (7-3), will come stumbling into the IHSA playoffs later this month as they’ve lost two of their last three games.

Both teams have one regular season game remaining as the Kits will battle Glenbrook North in Beardsley Gym on Wednesday and New Trier will host Deerfield on Tuesday before the rivals will be seeded 1-2 in the Niles North sectional tournament, with ETHS earning the top seed.