Undefeated, ‘disrespected’ T.F. North beats Clark at Proviso West

The Meteors extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 65-40 first-round victory.

SHARE Undefeated, ‘disrespected’ T.F. North beats Clark at Proviso West
T.F. North’s Jevon Warren (3) looks to pass the ball past Clark’s Katrell Weekley (1) and Marquis Smith (12).

T.F. North’s Jevon Warren (3) looks to pass the ball past Clark’s Katrell Weekley (1) and Marquis Smith (12).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

It’s hard to make a name for yourself in the area’s crowded basketball scene. The same major talents regularly dominate the headlines.

It’s particularly hard to do so if you aren’t part of the club basketball scene that dominates the discussion during the spring and summer.

T.F. North senior Jevon Warren didn’t play club basketball this summer. And his team had a rough season last year. The highest-profile event the Meteors normally play in, the annual Bob Hambric Shootout, was canceled because of weather.

So Warren and the Meteors arrived at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament on Monday in Hillside as total unknowns.

‘‘[The lack of attention] feels like a little bit of disrespect,’’ Warren said. ‘‘If we play well, I don’t think anyone can take us.’’

The Meteors extended their undefeated start to the season with a 65-40 victory against Clark in the first round.

Warren scored 11 points to go with six rebounds and two blocks. The 6-4 senior is a gifted athlete, which he showcased with a pair of above-the-rim highlights.

‘‘That’s something I’ve always had,’’ Warren said. ‘‘I didn’t have to work for that.’’

Warren spent the summer working out instead of playing club basketball.

‘‘Jevon is one of the best players in the state,’’ longtime T.F. North coach Tim Bankston said. ‘‘He’s a gym rat. He is one of the best players I’ve coached, and I don’t say that lightly. And he’s a great kid.’’

Warren hasn’t picked up any college interest yet, but his teammates have seen his potential.

‘‘We call him ‘Showtime,’ ’’ junior Chase Abraham said. ‘‘We see what he can do every day.’’

Abraham led the Meteors (8-0) with 20 points and three steals. He was 4-for-6 from three-point range. Senior Jayden Small added 15 points and five assists.

‘‘We have three really good guards,’’ Bankston said. ‘‘Jayden and Chase can score 20 or 30 on any night. They can shoot the lights out.’’

Clark (6-3) got as close as five points midway through the third quarter, but T.F. North responded with a quick 9-0 burst to end the threat and take control of the game.

‘‘I was a little worried because we hadn’t practiced in so long with the weather,’’ Bankston said. ‘‘A few guys ate too much turkey. But we are a scrappy team and consistent on defense. Just a little small.’’

Junior Katrell Weekly led Clark with 14 points, and junior Cordy Johnson added 11. The Eagles are young, with multiple sophomores and freshmen in the rotation.

‘‘I know how to coach young teams,’’ Clark coach Terry Head said. ‘‘You have to take the good with the bad and try to survive and get better.’’

T.F. North will face Proviso East in the second round Tuesday. Lincoln Park, St. Rita, Hammond (Indiana) Central and Young were also first-round winners.

Melvin Bell, one of the top sophomores in the state, made his season debut in St. Rita’s victory against Gary (Indiana) Bowman. Bell has been out with an injury. He scored nine points in nine minutes and had two dunks.

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