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Antioch's Ryan Weber (right) shoots as he is being defended by North Chiago's Jarrod Coleman. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
North Chicago welcomed JaVairius Amos-Mays and Arnold Shead back to the team on Wednesday, as the Warhawks began their quest for a Class 3A state basketball title with a full complement of talented players.
The semifinal-round game in the North Chicago Regional wasn’t much of a test — the Warhawks beat Antioch 78-37 — but there were some flashes of brilliance from all the stars, including Amos-Mays (out three weeks) and Shead (gone for two months).
Next up for the Warhawks (25-3) is a Friday home game against either Prosser or Northside from the Public League.
Amos-Mays had seven points on 2-of-12 shooting and Shead scored nine points. Junior JayQuan McCloud had 19 points and six boards in the win, and Kurt Hall had 13 points and six rebounds.
Antioch (2-25) was 16-of-40 shooting and committed 33 turnovers. North Chicago was 31-of-79 from the field.
Ryan Weber led Antioch in scoring with 20 points. Eleven different players scored for North Chicago.
“I’m satisfied with the teamwork and effort tonight,” said winning coach King Coleman. “I was impressed with the whole team. I’m pretty excited to see how this season is going to end up.”
North Chicago is trying to become the first Lake County team to make it to the Final Four state tourney in Peoria three years in a row and also trying to become the first county team to win a state title.
Regarding the returns of Amos-Mays and Shead, Coleman said:
“Mays has to let the game come to him. He was trying to force it a little too much tonight. Shead brings the defense that we were lacking for awhile. He is the defensive stopper that we need.”
Coleman played everybody in the game.
“My second group is as good as the first,” he said. “I tell the guys you must impact the game within 30 seconds.”
Amos-Mays, Shead, Travaris Knox and Emmanuel January all were part of the second unit.
“This is a new season (working toward) a trip downstate,” said McCloud. “Mays is going to have to get back in the rhythm. Once he does, we are going to be tough to beat.”