The Antioch boys’ basketball took to the court Feb. 27 in their postseason showdown knowing that they were a big underdog and that they more than had their work cut out for them, as they were squared up against one of the area’s top teams.

                  But even with the above in mind and the fact that they were undermanned due to injuries, the Sequoits were determined not to let that dampen their spirits or intensity.

                  Antioch was able to hold their own early on and keep things close, but slowly faded away with time and ran out of gas as they just couldn’t match the athleticism and experience of the multi-talented North Chicago.

                  By the time that it was all said and done, the Warhawks were able to score a convincing 78-37 victory over the Sequoits in the IHSA Class 3A North Chicago Regional semifinal game.

                  The defeat brought an end to the season for the No. 16 seeded Sequoits, as they finished with a 3-24 overall record for the season. The win improved the No. 1 seeded Warhawks to 25-3 and advanced them onto the regionals finals March 1 against Chicago Northside, as well as kept their hopes alive of qualifying for the State Tournament for the third consecutive year.

                  “As rough as the final score may appear, there were many positives to take out of the loss as we battled and carried out our game plan early on to keep things close by limiting our turnovers and their second-chance points,” Antioch head coach Jim White said. “Even after getting down big in the second half, this allowed us to get our underclassmen some playing time within a competitive playoff setting against a tough team and they competed hard until the end in gaining quality experience along the way.”

                  The Sequoits were able to keep pace with the Warhawks in the first quarter by trailing just 12-8 after the first eight minutes of play. Unfortunately though, North Chicago would settle down and find their rhythm in the second quarter to feed off of their own momentum and run away with it on both sides of the ball.

                  The Warhawks would explode for 30 unanswered points in the second quarter alone, while holding the Sequoits to 13 on the other end. This would allow them to pad their lead to 42-21 at the half, as they did a good job of spreading the ball around on offense and getting everyone involved.

                  Things wouldn’t get any easier for Antioch in the second half either, as North Chicago picked up right where they left off in the first and continued to pour it on. They doubled up Antioch 14-7 in the third quarter of play and then closed things out with a 22-9 advantage to seal the victory.

                  The Warhawks success stemmed from the fact that they had 11 different players score in the contest, including four of them putting down seven or more points. More importantly though was the fact that the Sequoits were concentrating on getting their younger players experience, rather than concentrating on the score.

                  Antioch was sparked by the efforts of Ryan Weber finishing with a double-double that included pulling down 12 rebounds to go along with 10 points, as Tyler Innis dished in nine more points. North Chicago was led by JayQuan McCloud with 19 points and six boards and Kurt Hall adding 13 points and six rebounds.

                  “Our future looks bright as along with the returning players from this year’s team, we will inherit the success of a sophomore class that finished second at 9-3 in the division and a freshman team that was first in posting an 11-1 mark,” White said.


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