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Lake Forest 6-foot-9 center Sam Downey did about all he could do in the first half against Stagg during a Hinsdale South Tournament semifinal. He scored 13 of his team’s 23 points, but the No. 1 seed Scouts led by only three at that point.
In the third quarter, Downey finally got some offensive help from his teammates, and with that took over the game during a 58-49 win over the No. 4 seed Chargers (10-3).
The Scouts (10-2), who were playing without starters Carter Bass (flu) and Evan Boudreaux (ankle), will advance to the 7:45 pm title game against the winner of St. Patrick vs. Brother Rice.
“We have some really good offensive threats on our team,” said Downey, who finished his night with 23 points and seven rebounds. “Even though we were missing two starters we still have other guys. We didn’t take any shortcuts to get to the championship and we’re excited to be in it.”
Ben Simpson scored nine of his 13 points in that decisive third quarter in which the Scouts outscored the Chargers 22-9 to take over the lead for good 45-29. Cal Miller had seven of his 13 points in that quarter.
Neither team held more than a five-point lead (10-5 Scouts) in the first half. The Chargers biggest lead of the half was 5-3 early in the first quarter. Chargers guard Max Strus scored eight of his team-high 22 points in the first half.
“We were down a couple of guys but other guys are stepping up and playing hard,” Lake Forest coach Phil LaScala said. “I really like how we’re playing on the defensive end.”
The Chargers cut the lead to 56-49 with 18.5 second left in the fourth behind 10 points by Strus, but would get no closer. Sean Dwyer added 10 points for the Chargers.
“Give them all the credit they deserved the win,” Stagg coach John Daniels said. “They played well, they got the ball into their big the ball early and scouted us well.
“We just didn’t have a good third quarter.”