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Evan Boudreaux, Noah Karras fuel Lake Forest’s repeat performance at York

The encore was triumphant and deeply satisfying.

Lake Forest wanted a measuring stick. A major holiday tournament title game involving two undefeated teams fit the criteria.

Lake Forest star Evan Boudreaux punctuated his dominant tournament performance with 29 points and 12 rebounds and sharpshooter Noah Karras provided superb backup support with 23 points as No. 8 Lake Forest beat No. 12 Riverside-Brookfield, 69-42, in the championship of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic Wednesday at York.

Boudreaux repeated as the tournament most valuable player.

“He’s the most productive player in Illinois,” Karras said.

Boudreaux shot 12-of-20 from the field and Karras drilled five three-pointers.

“It was the ideal situation,” Karras said, “an outside scorer and an inside scorer.”

Lake Forest (14-0) defended its 2013 title with Boudreaux’s physical, tough game and Karras’ dazzling outside shooting. The two combined for 29 first half points as Lake Forest held a 12-point lead (34-22) at the break.

In an electrifying 75-second sequence, Karras drilled three consecutive three-pointers as Lake Forest finished the quarter on an 11-0 run for a 21-13 advantage. The game was never the same.

“That trap help they were doing really helped me,” Karras said. “My guy would go to trap it and it left me wide open on the wing.

“That was my time to fire it up and hope for the best. The way I’ve been shooting, it was great.”

With Karras’ outside shooting spread the floor, Boudreaux operated in the paint with toughness, precision and accuracy.

“Because I hit those threes early, Evan really carried us in the second half.”

He scored eight points in the second quarter on an array of post up moves and strong drives. He also hit three jump hooks as Lake Forest’s guards Jack Traynor and Scott Dent broke down the Bulldogs’ defense on the pick and roll.

“Noah came down and hit a couple in a row and that pushed us over the hump,” Boudreaux said. “We got going from there, and I got more opportunities, and so did he.”

Making matters worse for the Bulldogs, top player, 6-6 Sam Johnson, collected three fouls in less than 10 minutes of the first half. He was forced to sit out the final 6:46 of the second quarter.

Riverside-Brookfield had difficulty matching up against the Scouts’ physical, inside attack. Johnson (five points, seven rebounds) eventually fouled out with just under five minutes to play.

Boudreaux nailed a three-pointer from the right wing and Karras followed by drilling two more deep balls from from distance as Lake Forest led 53-34 with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter. Fittingly, the final play of the third quarter saw Karras drive the baseline and drop to Boudreaux for a layup for the commanding 22-point lead.

Boudreaux and Karras provided the firepower. Lake Forest’s role players played their parts to perfection. Rapidly improving 6-8 sophomore Lorenzo Edwards (six points, five rebounds, three blocked shots) provided inside bulk and a shotblocker that kept the Bulldogs’ Johnson and Mark Smith (eight points) stymied at the rim.

Starting center Tom Trkla helped establish the Scouts’ dominant tone with toughness and strength inside the post.

Riverside-Brookfield’s best start ever in the reign of coach Tom McCloskey has been an expert assemblage of size, speed and quickness. The Bulldogs (13-1) led only once, at 13-10, before Karras’s barrage ignited the rout. Standout junior guard Daniko Jackson impressed once more with 12 points, five assists and a steal.

The Bulldogs’ otherwise magnificent first half run ended with a shocker. “The’ve gotten a lot of hype and deservedly so,” Boudreaux said. “They’re a really good team, but we were able to execute our game plan.”