Evan Boudreaux is the headliner, but the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts for Lake Forest.
Boudreaux recorded another double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds, but the play of Noah Karras and emerging sophomore Lorenzo Edwards and guard Jack Traynor proved just as crucial.
Karras hit three three-pointers in scoring 18 points and Edwards scored three crucial baskets during a pivotal third-quarter burst as the No. 8 Scouts handled No. 20 Lyons 59-47 in a Jack Tosh Classic semifinal at York Tuesday night.
The defending tournament champion Scouts (13-0) confront unbeaten No. 12 Riverside-Brookfield Wedneday afternoon for the title.
University of Chicago-recruit Karras scored 11 points in the first quarter.
“Obviously when teams scout us, they see Evan and know that he’s the main guy,” Karras said. “So when teams are doubling and triple teaming him I have to be able to step up and make shots.”
The son of former DePaul star Kevin Edwards, the 6-7 sophomore left-hander Edwards scored six consecutive points on assists from Boudreaux that helped expand the Scouts’ five-point halftime edge to 44-33 to start the fourth quarter.
“Lorenzo played big for us,” Lake Forest coach Phil LaScala said. “When you play this many games in a short period of time, you get fatigued. Some of our guys were hauling a lot of minutes, and Lorenzo gave us a real burst of energy.”
Boudreaux survived the Lions’ aggressive double and triple teams to score 17 points in the second half. Held to just four free throws in the first half, Boudreaux drilled a three-pointer from the left wing on the opening possession of the second half to score nine-third quarter points.
“Noah did a great job of stepping up and carrying us in the first quarter, and then I was able to step up and make some plays there,” Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux converted 12-of-12 at the free throw line. He made eight in a row in the final minute and a half to help Lake Forest withstand the final push of Lyons (11-3).
Sophomore Connor Niego made his bid as one of the top players in class with a brilliant 26-point game on 11-of-15 shooting from the floor. His older brother, Harrison Niego, was limited to eight points on 2-of-13 shooting.
Connor Niego drilled a three-pointer from the left wing and scored in transition that marked a 9-2 fourth quarter run as Lyons cut an 11-point deficit to 46-42 with more than four minutes to play.
A physical and strong guard, Traynor continues to improve since coming off a football injury. His aggressive defense on Harrison Niego contributed to his shooting difficulties.
“Our defense was huge,” Karras said. “Jack Traynor’s defense on Harrison Niego, who’s a Division 1 recruit, and he stopped him and we hit the open shots.”
Forward Joe Brunner added 11 points for Lyons.
Lake Forest now takes on undefeated Riverside-Brookfield.
“This is all you can ask for to win a championship,” Boudreaux said.