Evanston Township High School prevailed over New Trier Friday night in a fiercely contested basketball doubleheader.

It was the first time the annual rivalry has been held at Northwestern University’s Welsh Ryan Arena since 2012.

The night started with the girls game, a rematch of a Jan. 25 event that saw Evanston
defeat the Trevians.

Wildkit Sophomore guard Kailey Starks (20) drives past New Trier’s Caitlin Pedraja (4). (Photo by Alex Milne) 

The Kits again proved to be up to the challenge, grabbing an early 15-12 lead in the first
quarter. From there, ETHS dominated defensively holding New Trier to eight points the next two quarters, entering the fourth up 38-20.

Spurred on by a crowd of 3,000 that had gathered for the doubleheader, Evanston won 51-32.

Led by 6-foot-4 Ciara Gentle’s 14 points and Zuri Ransom’s 13, they improved to 16-8 on the season and second in their conference.

Next came a boys matchup with New Trier as a heavy favorite.

Ranked second in the state and boasting a 24-2 record on a ten-game win streak, the Trevians were expected to handle an Evanston team that posted a 5-5 record in the month of January, yet things did not begin that way.

Evanston Senior guard Rashawn Bost (24) scores a driving layup on two New Trier defenders. (Photo by Alex Milne)

The Wildkits jumped out to a commanding 22-5 lead at the start of the second quarter to the cheers of a raucous student section.

But momentum did not stay on their side. In a disastrous stretch, New Trier went on a 23-0 run aided by nine Evanston turnovers, sending them into halftime up 28-22.

In the locker room, ETHS coach Mike Ellis refocused his team, and they came back out to take a 43-42 lead at the end of the third quarter.

From there, the Wildkit defense stiffened, holding their rivals without a score for five full
minutes down the stretch.

By then, the game was out of reach as Evanston built an 11-point lead, securing the 62-55 upset after a few late New Trier baskets.

The win gives ETHS a 17-8 record overall behind Senior David Gieser’s 17 points and Jack Tully’s 12.

Teammate Rashawn Bost scored 11 points while playing on an emotional night for his family.

During halftime of the boys game, Evanston took time to recognize the Bost family, particularly Rashawn’s grandfather Bob and brother Ryan, both of whom are no longer with us.

Beginning in 1983, Bob served the ETHS athletic community as a baseball and basketball coach across five decades before passing in 2012.

Ryan was a class of ’19 alumnus who led ETHS to its most successful stretch in team history during his 110 varsity wins. He became the victim of gun violence in Chicago in November 2020.

Rashawn continues to wear Ryan’s number 24 in his memory.

The night concluded what was a special evening for Evanston basketball, an event encapsulated by girls coach Brittany Johnson.

“None of our athletes have ever played in front of a crowd like this,” she said. “After playing without fans all of last year, I’m just happy they’re able to have experiences like this.”

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