O’Brien: Speedy Warhawk Simeon Henton scores 30 to beat Waukegan

SHARE O’Brien: Speedy Warhawk Simeon Henton scores 30 to beat Waukegan

Waukegan vs. North Chicago is a special rivalry. The Dog Pound, the old gym in Waukegan, was loaded with fans on Saturday. It didn’t matter that the Bulldogs were on a seven-game losing streak or that the Warhawks were just two games over .500.

“It’s all about Bragging rights,” North Chicago senior Marreon White said. “You don’t want to have to deal with social media and what-not after losing this game. The energy and the excitement is just ridiculous. It’s very exciting playing in this gym, especially when it is packed.”

Warhawks junior Simeon Henton embraced the spectacle. The slight, 6-3 guard was a blur, streaking up and down the court to score a career-high 30 points and lead North Chicago to a 75-71 win over the host Bulldogs.

“I like to play fast,” Henton said. “It just feels great to play my best game and have it be against them. I could have done better on defense, but we pulled out the win and that is all that matters.”

“That’s definitely the best I’ve seen [Henton] play,” White said. “It’s Waukegan vs. North Chicago, a hyped game. He came out and played with intensity and he stepped up for us big time.”

Waukegan led by seven points early in the third quarter. The Warhawks (12-9) responded with a 14-2 run to take control of the game.

“We had to lock in, if we didn’t lock in we would have been blown out,” White said.

White scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Josiah Baldridge scored 11 and Kentrell Burns added eight points.

The Bulldogs (9-16) out-rebounded North Chicago 46-46. Waukegan had a significant height advantage over the Warhawks.

“We have to work extremely hard, a lot of teams are taller than us and they are going to out-rebound us unless we box out and jump,” White said. “We have to have a sense of urgency with that.”

Junior Carson Newsome led Waukegan with 23 points and nine rebounds. Senior Cameron Miller scored 19 and grabbed 13 rebounds. DeShawn Davidson scored 16 and freshman Bryant Brown had nine points and six rebounds.

Brown has been a consistent starter for the Bulldogs this season, he’s shown the potential to be a future star. This makes eight consecutive defeats for Waukegan, they are a talented young team that clearly is still learning how to win and how to finish out games.

“We had the experience to come back on them when they got that lead,” Henton said. “We knew we had to get it back and that they might let up a bit.”

Henton is well-known in Lake County, but not so much around the rest of the area. It’s likely that changes after this performance. He shot 12-for-17 and nothing came easy, every basket was the result of maximum effort.

“I have a little interest from colleges, but I haven’t really talked to any coaches yet,” Henton said. “I’m going to take it slow and see what happens.”

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