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Boys Basketball: Lake Forest knocks off Stagg

Lake Forest 6-foot-9 center Sam Downey did about all he could do in the first half against Stagg in Friday’s Hinsdale South Tournament semifinals. He scored 13 of his team’s 23 points, but the No. 1-seeded Scouts led by only three points at the break.

In the third quarter, Downey finally got some offensive help from his teammates and Lake Forest went on to earn a 58-49 win over No. 4-seeded Stagg (10-3).

The Scouts (10-2), who were playing without starters Carter Bass (flu) and Evan Boudreaux (ankle), advanced to Saturday’s 7:45 p.m. title game against Brother Rice.

“We have some really good offensive threats on our team,” said Downey, who finished 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 the decisive third quarter in which Lake Forest outscored Stagg 22-9 to take the lead for good at 45-29. Cal Miller had seven of his 13 points in the quarter.

Neither team held more than a five-point lead in the first half. The Chargers’ biggest lead was 5-3 early in the first quarter.

Stagg 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.”

Getting 10 points from Strus, Stagg cut the lead to 56-49 with 18.5 seconds left in the fourth, but could 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 early and scouted us well. We just didn’t have a good third quarter.”



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