Boys basketball takes regional crown

No one could stop senior Rashawn Bost from getting to the basket in Evanston’s regional semi-finals against Schaumburg. 

Whether it was making highlight reel layups or kicking the ball out to an open shooter, Bost led the Wildkits to a 58-49 win over the Saxons at Beardsley Gym to advance to the regional championship against Glenbrook North on Friday night. Evanston had a predetermined regional site at Beardsley coming into the season, enabling them to play as the home team.

Schaumburg was firing from all cylinders early, going up 8-0 to start the game. The Kits cut the Saxons’ lead to one point at the end of the first quarter, but went down 25-18 at halftime. Evanston struggled mightily with turnovers in the first half, committing a handful of unforced errors–seven just in the first quarter alone. Most of that was due to Schaumburg’s tough zone defense, which stifled the Kits from getting into the paint early and creating open looks.

The Kits turned up the intensity and jumped out to a 31-26 lead in the third quarter. Bost, playing point guard, set the tempo nicely for the Kits. 

Evanston played as a more complete team in the second half, limiting turnovers and doing an impressive job of breaking Schaumburg’s zone by completing cross court passes to produce open opportunities to score and chip away at the clock at the same time. Since IHSA does not have a shot clock rule, the Kits were shaving off good chunks of time each time they had the ball on offense, all while getting to the hoop and hitting shots from the perimeter deep in the possession. 

They led, 38-34, at the end of the third, and the combination of Bost, senior David Gieser and Junior Malachi Barrett helped close out the game for the Kits. Barrett added six points off the bench, all which came in the second half. Bost finished with 17 points and Gieser pitched in 14 points in the 58-49 win. 

The Wildkits played two days later against Glenbrook North. The Spartans entered the game after narrowly avoiding an upset by Taft on Wednesday night and held on, 57-56, in a nail-biter finish. Earlier in the season, the Kits went 1-1 in the two games against Glenbrook North this season heading into the regional final.

Thanks to a strong defensive effort, the Kits proved victorious, defeating Glenbrook North, 51-36, on their way to winning the region and advancing to the next round of the State playoffs. Evanston will face Glenbrook South, who won both regular season contests against the Kits and are 31-2 overall on the year. The Kits take the court next on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Titans, who are hosting the sectional rounds.