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Stevenson’s youth movement was on full display Friday night as a trio of sophomores combined to score 48 points in the No. 14 Patriots’ 77-67 North Suburban Lake win over Mundelein in Lincolnshire.
Connor Cashaw led that group with 20 points, Jalen Brunson had 17 points and Cameron Green - playing in just his second varsity game - added 11 points.
“I think it’s our chemistry and how we prepare for things,” said Brunson about what the key was for the young trio. “We’re always on the same page and we always want the best for each other so we always pick each other up.”
Mundelein (13-13, 5-7) gave Stevenson (22-4, 10-2) all it could handle in the first half, with the Patriots clinging to a 41-37 halftime lead.
The Mustangs pulled within 43-42 with 4:45 left in the third on a bucket by Quinn Pokora.
Stevenson responded with an 11-0 run, eight of those points coming from Cashaw. The 6-foot-3 guard finished the quarter with 12 points as the Patriots took a 58-46 lead into the fourth.
“It started defensively,” Cashaw said. “[Assistant coach John] Taylor told me to play hard on defense, get rebounds and the scoring will come.”
Mundelein’s Sean O’Brien converted three straight field goals to start the fourth to cut the lead in half, but that’s as close as it would get. The Patriots knocked down 11 of 15 tries from the charity stripe in the fourth to help secure the victory.
Stevenson senior Andy Stempel finished the game with 20 points, 10 coming in the final quarter.
O’Brien (21 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists) and Chino Ebube (19 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks) both had outstanding nights for the Mustangs. Mundelein’s Robert Knar scored 15 points in limited minutes as he continues his return from a torn ACL.
“Those three sophomores are definitely really skilled and great basketball players,” said the 6-foot-7 O’Brien, who is committed to Southern Illinois University. “We just have to do a better job keeping them out of the lane and stopping them as a team.”