East Tops Defending Champ Evanston To Start The Season [VIDEO]
Video highlights of the Thursday, December 5th season opening 4A basketball game, between #3 Evanston at #5 East.
Scroll down to see highlights!
The Thunderbirds took the lead for good with roughly 30 seconds remaining, because the 2-time defending champion Red Devils, failed to score in the last 2 minutes.
Editors Note: We found out too late that Zach McCord and Andrew Florita changed jersey numbers before the game. So any highlight you see of Florita is actually McCord and vice-versa.
See what happens when you stay in the sub-zero temperatures too long? It's going to be awhile before he thaws out.
#3 Evanston at #5 East...first quarter...Evanston wearing the red...and down 4-to-2...no one was guarding Miles Piper and he would make the defense pay 3 times over...the 2 time defending state champs would take their first lead, 5-to-4.
This highlight had something on both sides...first Ryan Cook will get rejected by Cole Revelli...who is a 6 foot 7 inch senior...but Cook would get a 2nd chance...and if you can't go over something...go around them...and 1...no good on the extra try, but the home team would go back up 6-to-5.
Now here's the main scoring threat for the Red Devils...Alek Johnson...a 6 foot 3 inch junior...learning how to shoot 3's from his big brother, who is now in college...the visitors would hold an 8-6 advantage after the first 8 minutes.
2nd quarter...the Thunderbirds had a speed advantage in this game...both in terms of running and passing...they got it to Quinton Pope who was in the corner causing trouble...and the lead has changed hands once again...now it's 9-to-8.
Back comes the opposition...Johnson...base-line drive...good no call...that was a flop and he got the bucket to lead all scorers with 18...Evanston is now ahead, 10-to-9.
East was picking their shots...and sometimes it was the long range variety...Elijah Oliver is at the top of the key...opening the door for 3...keep an eye on him...he's a sophomore...his team is up 12-to-10.
Don't blink...this next highlight is quick...Andrew Florita with the alley...and Cook with the oop lay-in...they were making a move...now ahead 14-to-10.
This team failed to make the state tournament last season...so an early season statement this time around was needed...Cameron Johnson gets in on the scoring act...to give the home team a 16-to-10 advantage.
Now there was that size problem that they had to deal with...Revelli has some pretty long arms to match his height, which means not many players are going to get something over him.
The home team went back to what was working...speed...Tyler Lambert will slip in...take the assist from Pope and finish the job...a 10-to-1 spurt would result in the Thunderbirds ahead by a score of 18-to-10 at this point.
The Red Devils just needed to light another match and start a new fire underneath them...Chase Cook has the fuel for the fire...and there's the kaboom...that would keep the visitors within striking distance...trailing 22-to-17 going into the locker room.
3rd quarter...they would get closer...Brock Ehlers...thought about driving...then decided that 15 feet was close enough...now it's a 1-point contest...22-21.
The home team needed to get back to work...watch the back door cut by Cameron Johnson...he contributed with 11 points in this game...that would open a little breathing room for his team, who are up 24-21.
But the champs were turning up the temperature...Piper is lighting up 3 and burning the nets...now the scoreboard is dead even on both sides...it's 24-all.
This was their move...and the opposition fell asleep on this play...Gavin Whitaker was wide open underneath...hoop and the hack...he would complete the 3-point play to polish off a 17-to-6 run, as the visitors have a 3-point advantage...up 27-24.
Then the Thunderbirds would get their 2nd wind...Cameron Johnson assists Oliver and the 2 were on the same page...the result is 2 points...now they are only down 27-26.
Speed came into play on defense and transition as well...Florita with the steal...almost lost it...then he would regain control and the senior would not be denied his 2 points...hard work payed off...his squad is back up...28-27.
The home team could reject a few shots as well...Cook says there's too many in the kitchen...you'll have to take your order to go...don't forget to leave a tip.
Moving on...again...East was too fast at times...Florita with the quick pass to Lambert who will get the finish...the advantage is up to 4...it's 32-28.
But the Red Devils were able to get a few breaks to go their way...Ehlers misses the long range jumper...manages to get his own rebound...tries again...and gets a friendly bounce or 2 from the rim...this game was getting interesting...with the scoreboard showing 32-30, going into the final 8 minutes.
4th quarter...the home team was trying to maintain their advantage...Florita breezes by a defender and finds his path to the hoop...this is the biggest lead his team has held...now it's 36-to-30.
But back came the opposition...Alek Johnson from the wing...and he's got some hot sauce...that 3 has his team right back in this game...trailing 36-35.
...and he was not done...this time, he's going to blaze a trail and that would lead to the hoop and he'll get the call...and Evanston is back ahead in this game...37-36.
East was not out of gas...they still had some spurts in them...like this one, as Florita would score quickly off of the inbounds, as his team reclaims the advantage...38-37.
It was getting to the point where someone needed to take over and make a play...that someone for Evanston was Johnson...bucket, whistle...and the 3 point play...the champs were on top 40-to-39 with about 2 minutes to go.
Skipping ahead...same score with about 30 seconds remaining...the Thunderbirds needed something big...they go inside, but it's too crowded...so they go back out and there they would find Pope who had the answer...that was the back breaker...the game went into free throw mode after that...Evanston failed to score in the final 2 minutes...and East would get an impressive season opening win...47-to-40.