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Maine East Regional: Evanston, Notre Dame to meet in title game

03/04/2014, 10:00pm CST
By Matt Harness | mharness@pioneerlocal.com | @harnesspreps

The Dons boys basketball team trailed after three quarters, but it rallied to beat the host Blue Demons 51-44 Tuesday.

Evanston 66, Foreman 48

The Evanston boys basketball team overcame the first obstacle in its quest for a regional title by beating Foreman 66-48 Tuesday in the Class 4A Maine East Regional semifinals in Park Ridge.

Tied at 11-all after the first quarter, the Wildkits, the No. 3 seed in the Maine South Sectional, outscored the No. 14 Hornets 39-14 over the next 16 minutes. Evanston (20-8) led by 25 heading into the fourth, but Foreman got as close as 11, 57-46, before the Wildkits closed the comeback door.

The Wildkits will play sixth-seeded Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Friday in the regional final.

"Early on, we didn't have a good rhythm," Evanston coach Mike Ellis said in a phone interview. "Once we established our defensive presence, we were able to get some easy baskets. In those second and third quarters, we had a lot of deflections, we were rotating well, we took charges and we got layups on transition."

Junior forward Elijah Henry led three Evanston players in double figures with 18 points. Senior guard Will Jones added 14 points and senior guard CJ Singletary contributed 11 points.

Foreman senior forward Percell Washington scored a game-best 24 points.

Notre Dame 51, Maine East 44

The host Blue Demons, the sectional's No. 12 seed, did their best to pull off the upset and led the Dons 34-31 after three quarters in the Class 4A regional semifinal.

But Notre Dame (13-15) dominated the fourth quarter Tuesday behind junior guard Joe Mooney and sophomore forward Ammar Becar. The pair combined to score 12 of the team's 20 points in the final eight minutes.

With the win, the sixth-seeded Dons get a rematch with No. 3 Evanston at 7 p.m. Friday in the regional final. The Wildkits defeated Notre Dame 50-38 on Nov. 26, 2013, at Lane's Thanksgiving tournament.

"Notre Dame is definitely a year older," Wildkits coach Mike Ellis said in a phone interview. "They started out playing young guys, but they are more experienced now. They know where each other is on the floor."

Becar led all scorers with 16 points, while Mooney had 11 points. Maine East (10-17) was led by junior forward Ezeka Omeke and junior guard Abby George. Both players scored 15 points.

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