Warhawks Sweep Up Rams 77-62
The North Chicago Warhawks defeated the Grayslake Rams 77-62 in the boys basketball sectional semifinals Tuesday night at GCHS.
With a minute gone in the first quarter, the Rams trailed 4-2 and that was the closest they could get to a speedy, high-flying North Chicago team that was the #1 seed in the Grayslake Central Regional. The Rams fell 77-62, but this game was over in the 3rd quarter when the Warhawks went on a dunk-rattling exhibition and took a 20-point lead into the 4th quarter.
Several key Rams spent a large part of the game on the bench with foul trouble – Savonte McWilliams, Tyler Smith and Casey Boyle – but that was no surprise trying to guard the super quick and elusive guards senior Aaron Simpson and sophomore Javairius Amos-Mays.
Simpson led the Warhawks with 23 point and Amos-Mays threw in 17. Sophomore Kurt Hall added 13 points.
Jordan Taylor, Central’s 5’7" leader tried his best to will the team to a victory with 37 amazing points. It just wasn’t enough as the other Ram shooters were colder than a polar wasteland.
The Central Super-Fans were out in force dressed in togas and cheering wildly for their team and the gym was packed. North Chicago traveled well and packed their side of the court. The atmosphere was electric.
When Central Head Coach Brian Moe pulled his starters with under a minute to go, they received a huge applause from the loyal fans and Jordan Taylor, fighting back tears, was given a deafening standing ovation. Assistant Coach Rico Ellis wrapped his arms around Taylor and gave him a well-deserved hug and pat on the back.
"Taylor was always there when we needed him and he put us on his back tonight," Moe said. "Give credit to North Chicago. They took us out of what we wanted to do and forced their game on us. They switched to a zone defense in the fourth quarter and that threw us off a bit."
The Rams actually outscored the Warhawks 22-17 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome of the game. The Warhawks were off and running in transition with every missed shot by the Rams. They took advantage of their speed and leaping ability to grab rebounds and score athletic baskets at the other end.
It’s always a sad evening for the seniors on a team when they play their final high school game. An emotional Coach Moe said, "This is the first 4-year group of kids I have had since I took over the program at Central. I watched these guys grow from freshmen boys into senior men."
North Chicago will play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of Ridgewood (#2 seed) and Lakes (#3 seed) who are playing tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Grayslake Central for the right to advance to the supersectional.