No. 7 Neuqua Valley
crushes No. 16 Bolingbrook
By Drake Skleba
It took No. 7 Neuqua Valley about 11 minutes to get things going Tuesday night. But when the Wildcats did, the game was over.
The Wildcats took what looked to be a big nonconference battle with No. 16 Bolingbrook with ease in a 74-48 win.
Six-foot-5 senior F Dwayne Evans' had a stat-sheet stuffer of a night. He scored 22 points, pulled down 16 boards, and threw in six assists and three steals to complete a sensational evening in Naperville.
"We really dominated tonight on both ends of the floor against a quality team," said Evans. "I struggled early, but really got things going well after that. I was happy with my performance."
Bolingbrook (4-2) led 17-16 with five minutes to go in the half. Neuqua Valley's 6-foot-4 junior F Jim Stocki scored seven straight points for the 'Cats that gave them a 23-17 lead they would not relinquish.
With 4:55 left in the half, Stocki (seven points, four rebounds) buried a three for a 19-17 lead. The junior bombardier nailed another trey sixteen seconds later from the same spot. Stocki hit a free throw to complete his seven-point stretch.
"My teammates got the ball in the right spot on the floor," said Stocki. "Due to their efforts, I was able to knock down the shots and help get us this big win."
After Stocki's heroics, Evans put on a spectacular show for the home folks.
The future NIU Huskie scored 17 of his 22 points, grabbed 13 of his rebounds and dished four assists in the second and third quarters. The production powered the Wildcats, who outscored Bolingbrook 46-17 in those stanzas.
Evans had three steals in the fourth quarter and left the game with 4:30 remaining.
Neuqua Valley (6-0) recieved additional support from senior F Kyle Pembrook, who scored 11 points. Wildcat 6-foot-5 senior C Kareem Amedu chipped in with nine points, as did junior F Sam Johnson, who hit three threes. Senior G Rahjan Muhammed had a quality floor game and added eight points, three steals and a couple of boards.
Bolingbrook was led by senior G Delorean Weatherall, who scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Six-foot-7 junior F Devon Hodges scored seven points, pulled down six rebounds and had five blocked shots (three on Evans).
Neuqua Valley head coach Todd Sutton summarized the huge Wildcat victory.
"We defeated a quality, very athletic team tonight," he said. "I had been hoping to develop depth for my ballclub. Tonight, Jim Stocki stepped up big for us. Alex Karkazis (six points, six rebounds) had a big night off the bench. We played our best offensive game of the season, led by Dwayne Evans."