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Lake Zurich holds off Zion-Benton

Lake Zurich junior Nick Meyer and his teammates learned a valuable lesson Friday night: no lead is safe.

The Bears led their North Suburban Conference Lake Division opener against Zion-Benton by as many as 22 points in the third quarter, only to see Tennessee recruit Admiral Schofield mount a furious comeback.

But in the end, Meyer and senior teammate Mike Travlos were too much for the Zee-Bees as Lake Zurich (6-0, 1-0) stayed unbeaten with a 73-68 win. Zion-Benton fell for the second straight night after losing at Lake Forest on Thursday.

“We learned that no matter what the lead is, you can’t let up,” said Meyer, who scored all 18 of his points in the second half. “We just have to keep staying aggressive and play our game.”

It started for Meyer when he buried a long 3-pointer and continued with a pair of runners in the lane. His burst turned a tight halftime contest into a 22-point lead midway through the third quarter.

“We are showing that teams cannot focus on just one guy,” said Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher. “Meyer got hot there and his teammates did an excellent job of finding him.”

To get back into the game, the Zee-Bees utilized the services of the 6-6 Schofield. Schofield scored seven of the nine Zion-Benton points during a 9-0 quarter-closing run that started the comeback. Schofield led all scorers with 31 points including 17 after halftime.

Schofield had help in the form of senior guard Devonte Maynard. Maynard engineered the offense for Zion-Benton (4-2, 0-2) by scoring 16 points with all but 3 coming after halftime.

The run extended into the fourth quarter as the visitors whittled the lead down to 68-64 with 2:13 left.

“Zion is a good team and we knew that they could score and score quickly,” Pitcher said. ‘We stopped being aggressive and we started letting guys go by us on defense.”

To get the lead like they did, Lake Zurich rolled behind the very hot shooting of Travlos. The newest member of the 1,000-point club, Travlos was on fire early in the second quarter as he hit for 18 of his team-best 27 in the second quarter.

Travlos, at one point during a big second quarter run scored 10 points in a row as the Bears built their lead to over 20 points.