The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


Put in the Pound

Boy’s Basketball team manages nail-biting win over the Waukegan Bulldogs

Overcoming a fourth-quarter comeback against the Waukegan Bulldogs on January 10, the boys’ basketball team clung onto victory 70-68 and moved to 11-5 for the season. 

The first quarter began as a shootout between both teams. Guard Rocco Pagliocca ’26 was on fire from a distance, drilling three straight three-pointers, giving Stevenson the early advantage. However, Waukegan was able to respond with exceptional shooting of their own, as guards Brandon Phillips and Carter Newsome were able to match Pagliocca with threes of their own. 

As the first quarter came to a close, the teams were even and looking to carry over the momentum they had at the start of the game. Stevenson was able to get off to a good start in the second quarter with emphatic blocks from their star big man duo Jack Dabbs ’24 and Atticus Richmond ’25, giving the Patriots the momentum they needed. Guard Aidan Bardic ’25 was among several Patriots who attacked the basket relentlessly, taking advantage of the second quarter turnovers by Waukegan. 

“We continued to share the ball well on offense,” head coach William Benson said. “That made a big difference for us.”

Going into the half, Stevenson was sitting on a comfortable lead. As the third quarter began, the Patriots kept their foot on the pedal and continued to push the pace. Their relentless pursuit of the ball led to even more Waukegan turnovers and gave Stevenson opportunities for transition offense. 

Following a goaltend from Waukegan, the Patriots were able to go up 14 points in the third quarter, marking the biggest lead for Stevenson all game. 

However, Waukegan was able to regain some momentum. A vicious alley-oop slam by small forward Simereon Carter brought the lead down to 10, but more importantly, gave Waukegan the shift they desperately needed. 

Unexpectedly, Waukegan was able to catch fire from beyond the arc. Led by Newsome, who buried back-to-back deep triples, the Bulldogs cut the lead down to four, opening the door to a potential late game comeback. After a costly turnover by Stevenson, forward Simeron Carter was able to leak out in transition and tie the game at 68.

“We need to take care of the ball and close out the game a little ‘cleaner,’” Benson said. “We had three straight turnovers that resulted in points for them, so we need to avoid that in future end-of-game situations” 

With a 14 point second half lead completely erased, it was up to the Patriots to finish the game strong and secure the road to victory. 

After a dribble penetration from Dabbs, the defense was forced to collapse, opening up shooters in the corner. A beautiful skip pass from Dabbs found its way into the hands of Donnie Williams ’26, who rose up for the shot and got fouled on the way up, in turn earning two shots at the free throw line. 

Despite a roaring Waukegan crowd, Williams calmly drained both free throws, giving the Patriots a 70-68 lead with just seconds to go on the game clock. A good defensive stand by Stevenson sealed the deal and the Patriots walked out of Waukegan High School with a victory. 

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