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Evanston's Demonte Hill (35) and Maine South's Dan Schmidt (14) fight for a rebound during the first quarter of Thursday evening's game. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
With its fourth one in a row, Maine South stayed on top in the Central Suburban League South with its 37-24 victory over Evanston, a score more suited for a football game between the two schools.
“It was a grind, but good teams find ways to win these games,” said Maine South coach Tony Lavorato, whose team entered the Sun-Times poll this week at No. 24.
The Hawks (15-3 overall, 5-1 CSL South) led from the outset, but the Wildkits (7-12, 1-5) were within striking distance as late as the fourth quarter after junior guard Will Jones forced a turnover and then hit two free throws to cut the deficit to four, 28-24, with 5:51 to play.
But Maine South senior guard Frank Dounis wouldn’t let the game get away from the Hawks.
Over the next two minutes, he hit a free throw, a field goal, kept another possession alive with a rebound and assisted on senior John Solari’s basket to help the Hawks extend the advantage to 33-24.
Solari then hit all four of his free throws to secure the win. Solari and Dounis each scored 13 points. Defensively, the Hawks held their eighth opponent to less than 40 points.
Evanston sophomore Elijah Henry finished with six for the Wildkits, who scored less points than the first meeting, a 53-27 loss on Dec. 1.