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North Chicago's Kurt Hall (left) tries to shoot as Grant's Keion Miller tries to block during their boys basketball game at North Chicago. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
The next three days will show if North Chicago’s basketball team is ready for prime time.
Awaiting the Warhawks during MLK Weekend at Young in Chicago are powerhouses Farragut (Saturday, 8 p.m.), St. Ignatius (Sunday, 8 p.m.) and T.F. North (Monday, 2:15 p.m.).
What Friday’s 81-50 win over visiting Grant showed is that the Warhawks are ready for the weekend challenge.
This was the start of five games in five days for North Chicago (17-1) and the players looked — at least for one day — that they’re up to the challenge.
The Warhawks took command early, leading 25-13 after one quarter, 43-27 at halftime, and 70-39 after three quarters.
Big Kurt Hall had a double-double for the winners, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He was 6-of-12 from the field.
JaVairius Amos-Mays had 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
The third member of the Hawks’ “Big Three,” JayQuan McCloud, had a dozen points.
North Chicago coach King Coleman was pleased with the effort of sophomore guard Jamero Shelton, who was brought up from the sophomore team.
On the other side, Grant coach Wayne Bosworth is still waiting for his 8-12 team to click.
“We are just trying to get better right now,” he said. “We need to work on team chemistry and keep our composure.
“Our team goal is to go 5-1 in the second round (of league play) and it starts with Wauconda on Wednesday night.”
For his part, King Coleman seemed pleased with the combination of players he had on the floor.
“I was happy with the way we bonded together as a unit tonight. We need to keep making steps to become one group,” said Coleman.
He singled out Shelton, who started the season on the varsity, was sent down to the sophomore team and now is likely back up to stay.
“I really like the way he played tonight.” Shelton had been battling injuries sustained during football season.
Hall said the second actually starts this weekend. “This weekend is big for us,” he said. “We want to show these Chicago teams we can compete and beat them.”