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Zion's Milik Yarbrough (right) shoots two as Lake Zurich's Will McLaughry (left) and Brad Kruse defend during their boys basketball game at Zion. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Milik Yarbrough scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to lead host Zion-Benton past pesky Lake Zurich 57-47 on Friday in a North Suburban Conference Lake Division boys basketball game.
The junior also provided the high-energy crowd with two hallmark moments — first with an alley-oop dunk in the third quarter and then a game-punctuating jam in the final seconds.
Zion is now 4-0 in the division, 8-1 overall, and has a huge game tonight at six o’clock against longtime rival Warren in Gurnee.
Yarbrough finished 8-for-14 from the field and the 6-4 junior grabbed six boards. As a team, Zion was 18-of-42 shooting compared to 15-of-52 for Lake Zurich (4-5 overall, 1-3 in the division).
Mike Travlos had 19 points, and Ryan Roach 14 on 6-of-8 shooting for the Bears.
“We worked for good looks tonight, but we just weren’t able to hit many shots,” said Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher. “We got too reliant on the outside jump shot in the second half.
“Give Zion credit,” Pitcher added. “They are a very good basketball team. We need more consistency on the defensive side and more defensive rebounds.”
The first half was unusual, to say the least, even though it ended with Zion-Benton on top by a normal-sounding 28-24 score.
Lake Zurich started the game hitting its first two shots, then hung close despite shooting 1-for-19 during a nightmarish stretch. Zion actually led only because it drained buzzer-beaters in each of the first two quarters.
After the win, Zion-Benton coach noted his team played much better after intermission.
“The first half, we fouled and turned the ball over too much, The second half, we took better care of the ball and really worked our halfcourt offense,” he said. “We are happy to get the win.”