COVID-19 stole so much from so many people. High school basketball is a small thing in the bigger system of the world, but watching a teen get something back is a joy.
Kai Evans experienced that on Tuesday in Frankfurt. Bolingbrook’s star senior was ready to leave his town and friends and go west to a prep school. In his senior year he had to play basketball. But then everything changed and a season with the Raiders became possible.
Evans scored 20 points to lead Bolingbrook to a 73-67 win over hosts Lincoln-Way East.
The raiders play fast and noticeably. It is great to see. No-look passes, stylish basketball. Something like that can only be done by players who know each other well.
“It was everything I wanted,” said Evans. “I just wanted to come home and represent my hometown because that was all I wanted as a kid when I saw bras sizes. And play with my childhood friends. “
The Raiders scored 31 points in the first quarter of their season. Evans had 11 in the frame. But then the machine started to clog a bit.
“You saw really good Bolingbrook and then you saw Bolingbrook, which hasn’t been running for 11 months,” said Raiders coach Rob Brost. “We have work to do. It was really a perfect game for us to play an opponent on the road and start like we did and share how we did, especially at the beginning. And then some shots didn’t fall in love with us. “
The Griffins (0-2) weathered the early storm admirably and made it a fun fourth quarter. Second year Lincoln Way East, Khalil Ross, finished the game at 60 with a rebound and putback.
“They switched defense and we didn’t perform as we should,” said Evans. “But we’re going to go through it in practice and get it right.”
But Bolingbrook (1-0) shot 9-11 from the free throw line in the last four minutes to secure victory.
“There are currently no excuses,” said Brost. “Everyone is in the same boat. We have to perform a little better. But we keep getting better. And this season is all about playing right now. Of course we want to win, but we’re so grateful that we can play. “
Senior point guard Kyonte Thomas scored 13 for the Raiders and made some nice assists. Sophomores Donaven Younger and Keon Alexander scored nine points each. Michael Osei-Bonsu, a 6-4 year old, missed the entire final season with an injury. He started and scored six points and grabbed six rebounds.
“We’ll have exercises where he literally gets every rebound, every single one,” said Brost. “He plays super hard, but he’s very raw. He’s just a junior. So he just keeps getting better and better. “
Junior Jack Vegter led Lincoln-Way East off the bench with 21 points. He is a confident three-point shooter with a nice all-round ground clearance.
“I don’t have a lot of college experience, so it was a big deal,” Vegter said. “I work very hard in the summer and it feels great when it pays off now.”
Watch the last minute from Bolingbrook on Lincoln-Way East: