Getting back to the basics — like sharing the basketball on offense and playing lockdown defense — was all that it took for Evanston’s basketball team to end a three-game losing skid Tuesday night.
Seeded No. 1 in the Class 4A Glenbrook South Sectional, the Wildkits advanced to the regional finals by thumping Glenbrook South 56-29 in a semifinal contest at Warren. Evanston, now 22-5, will face either Niles North or Libertyville in Friday’s championship game at Warren.
In defeating GBS for the third time this season, Evanston shot 51 percent from the field and allowed the losers to convert just 26 percent (10-of-38) of their field goal attempts.
The Kits also chalked up assists on 17 of their 24 field goals, as senior forward Dylan Mulvihill benefited from solid ball movement and notched a game-high 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Nojel Eastern led the way with 5 assists and Tre Marshall added 3.
Another senior, Charlie Maxwell, contributed 7 points and clinging man-to-man defense while limiting GBS’ standout scorer Jim Martinelli to 6 points. He went scoreless in the first half.
“I thought Charlie was really active tonight on defense,” praised Evanston coach Mike Ellis. “He doesn’t stuff the stat sheet, but he’s a high energy senior who showed tonight that he doesn’t want his career to end.
“We played really well as a team tonight. Everybody showed up looking to play together. We shot over 50 percent tonight and that was the result of them looking for each other. Tonight was a good, solid team effort.”
GBS (12-16), which mustered only 38 points when the two teams met in February, scored the first basket of the game and didn’t record another field goal until nine minutes later. By then the Wildkits already led 18-4, on their way to a halftime edge of 29-13.
ETHS put the game out of reach with 12 unanswered points in the third period, including 3-point baskets by Marshall and Chris Hamil (6 points). As a team, ETHS shot 7-of-18 from 3-point range.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.