Adams dominates paint on both ends in boys basketball win over GBN


Isa de los Reyes

Senior Prince Adams in a Jan. 27 contest. Adams finished the IHSA regional final on Feb. 25 with 11 points.

Owen Chiss, Assistant Sports Editor

The difference maker in Evanston’s first matchup this season with Glenbrook North was a lack of post presence, with the Kits falling 71-59 in Northbrook on Dec. 8, 2022. 

This time around? Post-play was the complete game-changer for the Kits, with senior forwards Prince Adams and Josh Thomas pacing E-Town to a 64-58 win over the Spartans.

Both teams came out swinging early, even up at 11 a piece at the end of the first quarter. The Spartans (21-2, 5-2 CSL) went on a big run to go up 20-12 midway through the second, but the Kits (17-6, 4-3 CSL) responded nicely by finishing the quarter on a 14-2 run. Adams drained a triple and completely took over in the paint, leading the Kits to a 26-22 advantage at halftime. Adams had all 14 of his points on the night in the first half and added seven blocks on the defensive end.

“Over at their place, [Glenbrook North] really hurt us around the basket– rebounding and outscoring us in the paint. Prince didn’t feel like he played his game over there,” said Coach Mike Ellis. “Tonight was different. Prince was fantastic for us on both ends of the floor.”

The Kits’ defensive intensity in the second half was crucial in bringing home the win on Friday night. Both Adams and junior Brandon Watson had two steals a piece, which got the Kits moving in transition, leading to open looks at the rim and even around the perimeter. Senior Jonah Ross drained home five threes and Thomas had 11 points (4-4 FG), which came primarily on fast breaks.

“Getting out in the open floor was huge for us because [Glenbrook North] is really good all around. They made the decision to go with a smaller lineup in places where they could hit threes and put more shooters on the floor,” Ellis said. “Getting out in transition and tackling the basketball was huge.”

The dunk heard around the North Shore

Midway through the third quarter, Watson grabbed a loose ball and pulled off a spin move over two GBN defenders, before lobbing a pass to Thomas, who slammed home a thunderous, alley-oop jam. The dunk literally shook the entire gym, with the Evanston student section practically falling over the guardrails of the zone in excitement. 

“Josh has amazing bounce and great timing. That’s one of the great things about him: the impact he has around the rim is unbelievable,” said Ellis.

Bend, don’t break

The Kits led 50-36 in the fourth quarter but struggled to put the Spartans away in the final minutes of the game. Junior guard Josh Fridman for the Spartans dropped 27 points on the night with multiple threes coming late in the game, continuing to narrow Evanston’s lead with each shot he hit. To make matters worse, the Kits struggled at the foul line throughout the game, shooting just 13-24 (54.1 percent). The majority of those misses came late in the game, but the Kits were able to knock down three of their final four shots from the stripe. Senior Malachi Barrett’s steal in the final ticks secured the six-point win for the hosts.

“The key to not breaking was at least coming away with one point at the free throw line. We would’ve liked to have gone two-for-two on each trip but we still came away with the points,” said Ellis. 

Up next

The Kits have a quick turnaround, facing off against the Dons of Niles Notre Dame at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday back in Beardsley.