One year and one day after he connected on The Shot Heard ‘Round The Internet, Blake Peters is still tormenting Maine South.
The Evanston sophomore tied a school single game record with 9 3-point field goals --- on his way to a career-high 30-point performance --- as the Wildkits destroyed the Hawks 68-45 Friday night in Park Ridge.
Peters matched the number of treys set by Scott Horne for ETHS back in a 2001 game against Niles West. He connected on 9-of-13 attempts, and when he exited the game in the fourth quarter he had scored almost as many points as South’s entire team (38).
The sophomore sniper had a chance to break the record but instead was fouled on a 3-point try from the corner with 3 minutes, 54 seconds left in the game. He sank all 3 free throws before head coach Mike Ellis took him out of the game.
Ellis had no problem keeping the sophomore humble after the game.
“I congratulated him on the second best shooting game for any player I’ve ever coached,” Ellis kidded after the Wildkits improved to 19-4 overall and 6-1 in Central Suburban League South division play with one of their best team offensive efforts in the past month. “Jamar Smith (of Peoria Richwoods and University of Illinois, now a pro player in Europe) went 10-for-11 from 3 in my first year at Richwoods in a regional semifinal.
“Blake was really in a rhythm tonight, but he didn’t do it by himself. Everyone else found him and helped set up his shots. He got good looks in the flow of the game because Ryan Bost (2 assists) was a really good point guard tonight, Jaheim Holden (5 assists) was a really good point guard tonight and Lance Jones (7 assists) was a really good point guard tonight.
“Blake’s shot is like a golf swing that you practice 1,000 times. Every one of his shots looks identical and that comes from all of those repetitions in the gym, all of the hard work that he puts in.”
The winners shot 53 percent (23-of-43) in the South gym, although Bost’s 13 points represented the only other ETHS player in double figures. The Hawks, who forced ETHS into overtime before the Kits won in a previous meeting at Beardsley Gym, were led by Dan Crane with 18 points.
Evanston’s ability to attack South’s 1-2-2 zone defense was in marked contrast to previous --- and often frustrating --- matchups between the two squads. Ellis moved Jones to the free throw line and that helped open up the winners’ offense.
“I could see from watching the film (of the first game) that the middle would be wide open for us tonight,” said Peters. “We were able to go inside-out from there, and Lance did a great job of passing out of there so we could attack from the corners. That adjustment definitely made a difference for us tonight.
“I was focused this morning (during his usual game day shooting practice), I felt locked in throughout the day and tonight I just got to my spots and my teammates found me. When you feel it, you feel it. One of my goals is to get that school record.
“We have 3 or 4 great passing guards on this team and they’re always looking for me. It’s a bond that we have, and they really love it when I make shots like that.”
“We added some new wrinkles against that matchup zone, and the kids were excited about it. They really bought into our game plan,” Ellis said.
Just like back in December against the Hawks, Evanston led by double digits at halftime (35-23) but didn’t let up this time. Peters fired in 12 points in the third quarter alone as the lead ballooned to 55-30 after three quarters.
Evanston plays Normal West on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the When Sides Collide shootout at Glenbard East High School.