Considering Stevenson is one of the best high school basketball teams in the country, Lyons Township knew winning their annual Thanksgiving tournament would be a tall order at best.
Powered by guard Jalen Brunson (30 points, five assists), the Patriots rolled over the Lions 71-39 in both teams’ tourney opener. Brunson will play college basketball at Villanova next season.
After the Stevenson setback, however, LTHS reeled off three straights victories to secure second place.
The Lions notched wins over Argo 63-27, Hinsdale South 83-80 in overtime and Glenbard South 70-56.
“Over the course of the weekend, I really got to find out what we can be as a team,” coach Tom Sloan said. “We played some really tough competition and we improved every game. Overall, it was a really great weekend for us.”
Promising sophomore guard/forward Connor Niego scored 13 points and had three rebounds and senior swingman Jaquan Phipps tallied 10 points, seven boards, three assists and two steals in the win over Argo.
Senior guard Harrison Niego, one of the best guards in Chicagoland, exploded for a career-high 40 points, including five three-pointers, against Hinsdale South. He also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Phipps played brilliantly as well against the Hornets, finishing with a triple-double of 20 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds.
“There was a lot of team effort in each of our games,” Sloan said. “Starting off against such tough competition gives the kids a good idea what team speed is really all about, and they did a great job.”