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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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New Trier dominates boys basketball in sold-out Beardsley Gym

New Trier’s second half explosion too much for Evanston Township High School to handle

After New Trier guard Colby Smith chucked the ball out of bounds just five seconds into Friday night’s game, Evanston’s student section, decked out in all-black, roared with excitement. The Kits marched the ball up the court and found senior Jonny Dickson who went up strong and got fouled. Dickson made one of two at the free throw line and the Kits went up, 1-0.

That would end up being Evanston’s only lead of the night.

New Trier went nearly wire-to-wire and controlled the tempo all night in Beardsley Gym, taking down the Kits, 50-37. The Trevians shot nearly 50 percent from the field compared to Evanston’s 38 percent, while also winning the rebound battle over the Kits. 

“New Trier played great. We let them play comfortably all night long,” Evanston head coach Mike Ellis said. “When you get to the basket and you miss easy shots, it just inflates the confidence in the other team that, ‘these guys can’t beat us.’ When you shoot [around] 35 percent and they are shooting 49 percent, that’s the difference.”

Friday night marked the 12th year of the Bost Family Classic, a yearly event that honors the late Bob Bost, a former Evanston coach, and his grandson Ryan Bost, who was killed in 2020. Numerous members of the Bost family were acknowledged before the boys’ game.

Evanston (9-4, 2-2 CSL) fell cold in the first quarter. The Kits made just one of their first nine shots and were outrebounded early on 5-11. Trevian senior Logan Feller did a lot of damage in the paint on both ends of the glass, and New Trier’s William Leemaster beat the buzzer on a putback layup to give the Trevians (10-1, 3-0 CSL) a 12-3 lead after the first eight minutes. 

“In our past few games, we have done a better job in the rebounding area. But, tonight, I felt like we let up the gas,” senior Antoine Thomas said. “We need to do a better job boxing out.”

The Kits increased their offensive production slightly in the second quarter, swinging the game closer to even. After a putback bucket from freshman Vito Rocca and an-and-1 layup from junior Theo Rocca, Evanston continued to stab at New Trier’s lead. Junior Ian Peters chipped in five second-quarter points off the bench, helping to bring the Kits to within just four at the break. Down 18-14, Evanston was shooting a relatively low 21 percent at the end of the half.

“[Rough shooting] was because of New Trier’s defense and nerves from our team. It was our first time playing in a packed Beardsley Gymnasium, but I don’t want to discredit New Trier,” Thomas said. “They played good defense. But we were definitely missing shots that we usually hit.”

New Trier came firing out of the second half off the backs of sophomore Christopher Kirkpatrick, who scored thirteen of his fifteen total points in the third quarter. The guard drilled a three to open the third quarter. Evanston responded with a Peters’ three to keep the deficit at a manageable 23-17, but the Trevians went on an offensive explosion the rest of the way. Ironically, Feller picked up his fourth foul, which sent him to the bench. Without the Johns Hopkins commit, New Trier started to run their offense through the perimeter.

With four minutes left in the quarter, Kirkpatrick finished a three-point play but wasn’t finished. A couple of possessions later, Peters reached in to go for a steal and Smith picked up his dribble in an awkward way. Both teams stopped play as if he traveled, but the refs never blew a whistle. Smith found Kirkpatrick on the right wing who nailed a three and promptly yelled towards the stands. And just a few plays later, Kirkpatrick drove to the rim and went up and under for a pretty reverse layup. New Trier extended their lead to 47-30 at the end of the third.


In the opening play of the fourth quarter, Kirkpatrick found Feller underneath the hoop who scored and got fouled. Evanston contained New Trier to just three points in the final frame, but it was too little, too late for the Kits.

Two weeks ago, ETHS lost to Glenbrook-North, 49-31, in a fairly similar fashion as Friday night. Ellis was unhappy with a near replica of a performance a week later.

“We’ve been there before. It was the exact way we played against GBN. We were down and we played some of our worst basketball all season. Same thing tonight,” Ellis said. “We were down some tonight and we weren’t in sync on offense. We didn’t learn from our mistakes the first time around.”

“We have to come out the next time and play more locked in for longer periods of time. We have to understand that when we need [guys] the most, we need to be able to depend on [them]. It is time to step up when you are playing state-ranked teams,” Ellis said.

Evanston’s three-point percentage—42 percent—was higher than their field goal percentage (35 percent), which Thomas attributes to a poor shot selection in the paint. 

“Our main focus [offensively] is on the outside, but I’d like to start the game scoring the ball inside more,” Thomas stated. “If we’re scoring inside, it’ll be easier to go outside of the three-point line more.”

Evanston will head downstate next week to play in the Centralia Holiday Tournament, where they will take on Ferguson (FL) in game one on Thursday, Dec. 28.

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About the Contributor
Will Klearman, Opinion Columnist
Hey everyone! I’m Will Klearman (he/him) and this year I am an opinion columnist as well as a sports writer. I am a sophomore and this is my second year on staff. Being on The Evanstonian is great because it allows me to get an inside look on the sports at ETHS. I also love getting my opinion out there. Outside of The Evanstonian, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing tennis and watching sports!
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