Spencer Boehm grew up watching New Trier-Evanston games. So he was pretty excited to take the floor on Tuesday night.
Things started out swimmingly for the 6-foot-8 center. Boehm had six points in the first six minutes of the contest.
After hitting a pair of free throws, the sophomore came up with back-to-back baskets inside: converting a neat-looking spin move and then following that up with a nifty reverse layup.
“We came out pretty strong,” said Boehm. “We were playing well. But then the fouls got in the way.”
In front of a big crowd, visiting Evanston wound up winning the game in a decisive manner, 54-37.
“That’s a really good basketball team we just played,” said NT head coach Scott Fricke. “They’re elite. One of the top five teams in the state.
“And to tell you the truth, I thought we were in the game for a long time,” the coach added. “We had the pace we wanted. But we didn’t shoot the ball well. And they seemed to get every loose ball.”
Foul trouble also hampered the Trevians (4-3, 2-1). Boehm (8 points, 4 rebounds) picked up his third foul just before halftime. And he was whistled for his fourth foul with just over four minutes gone in the third quarter.
Like Boehm, NT’s other twin tower, 6-9 sophomore Ciaran Brayboy, had some nice moments in the game. He ended up with 10 points and eight rebounds. But he also got into foul trouble.
Featuring star Nojel Eastern (9 points), the 8-1 Wildkits led by only eight points, 26-18, at intermission. But they quickly pulled away midway through the third quarter when they went on a 6-0 run.
Eastern, a four-year varsity player, made his biggest statement of the game with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, when he cleaned up a missed shot. He came out of nowhere to put down an explosive one-handed dunk.
Fricke wasn’t blown away by the loss.
“We’re taking steps,” the NT coach said. “We’re getting better. “
New Trier’s Game Ball: Ciaran Brayboy
Evanston’s Game Balls: Nojel Eastern
Player of the Game: Eastern
New Trier’s Stat Leaders: Brayboy (10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block), Spencer Boehm (8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block), Andrew Kirkpatrick (6 points), Jack French (2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists)
Evanston’s Stat Leaders: Malcolm Townsel (11 points), Lance Jones (10 points), Eastern (9 points)
Notable: Purdue coach Matt Painter was in the building. No doubt watching one of his prize recruits: Nojel Eastern. College coaches also have an eye on New Trier’s sophomore twin towers: 6-foot-8 Spencer Boehm and 6-9 Ciaran Brayboy. … New Trier will not return to its home gym until Jan. 9. The Trevians will play in a tournament in Arizona on Dec. 15-17. Then, they will compete in the Proviso West Tournament on Dec. 27-30.