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Repplinger, Lake Zurich on the rise
By Bill Pemstein | Daily Herald Correspondent

Lake Zurich’s Ryan Roach drives on Brent Croft, left, and Harlem on Monday night at Lake Zurich.


Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Lake Zurich’s Mike Travlos shoots over two Harlem defenders on Monday night at Lake Zurich.


Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Lake Zurich’s Ryan Richman shoots over a Harlem defender Monday night at LZ.


Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Lake Zurich’s Jack O’Neill, left, drives on Harlem’s Josh Cass on Monday night at Lake Zurich.


Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

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Published: 1/22/2013 12:00 AM

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After watching the first 10 shots of this game go awry, Lake Zurich senior John Repplinger decided to show the fans at home how a basketball actually goes through the net.

He scored the first bucket of the 6 p.m. game in the inaugural Lake Zurich Martin Luther King Classic. But it was his second shot of the game that really stood out. It kind of woke everyone up.

Repplinger picked up the play-by-play following his team’s impressive 61-33 romp over Harlem on Monday night.

“It’s my spin move,’’ Repplinger said. “I’ve shot it a couple of times when I get a fast break. I use my left hand when the defender comes at me.”

It was certainly a highlight reel move by the senior.

After winning the third of four games in their own tournament, it seems all the Lake Zurich players are singing the same positive refrain.

“We’ve won eight out of 11,’’ Repplinger said. “We are really coming along. We came out with a ton of energy tonight. And we are making a ton of progress.”

The Bears (12-11) never trailed in this finale. Harlem knotted it up at 4-4 late in slow-starting first quarter. However, sophomore guard Mike Travlos closed the opening quarter with a 3-pointer and the Bears led 11-6.

“I’m very pleased with the way we finished the tournament,’’ said Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher. “Our goal was to get at least three wins.”

Harlem had to sit out its top scorer, Justin Vanwambeke, who averages close to 20 points. He suffered a minor ankle injury.

“He’s our top player,’’ said Harlem coach Chad Barger. “He’s an important player and makes a difference for us.”

Barger noted the home team played well in this game.

“Lake Zurich plays hard and they are scrappy,’’ he said. “They can knock down those open jumpers.”

Lake Zurich junior Brad Kruse had 6 of his 8 points in the second quarter. He was selected to the all-tournament team following the contest.

“My teammates set me up with open looks,’’ Kruse said. “And I think it was also for my defense. We are really coming along. This was a huge tournament for us.”

The Bears’ lead jumped to 15 early in the third quarter following consecutive baskets from Ryan Roach (6 points). Repplinger added to his fun night of scoring when he made a steal and bucket halfway through the third quarter, boosting the Lake Zurich lead to 32-16. He finished with 8 points.

If there was any encouragement coming Harlem it appeared with help from junior guard Safari Hunt. He scored 7 points in a 30-second span of the third quarter.

Pitcher was able to rest most of his players and gave everyone a shot at floor time in the fourth quarter.

“We had a good year here last year with 15 wins,’’ Pitcher said. “We lost four starters but these kids were around. And a lot of these guys are just basketball guys.”

Travlos was the lone player in double figures with 11 points. Jack O’Neill joined Kruse with 8 points. Will McClaughry finished his night with a 3-point play and closed with 7 points.

Lake Zurich senior Shahzaad Khan had 15 points in Lake Zurich’s 60-43 rout of Marian Central in earlier action on Monday.

Mundelein wins twice: Sean O’Brien and Chino Ebube continued their strong play, as Mundelein’s boys basketball team concluded tournament play at Rockton Hononegah with a pair of wins Monday.

O’Brien had 24 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists, and Ebube scored 20 points and grabbed 6 boards, helping the Mustangs defeat Neuqua Valley 80-59.

Mundelein (11-8, 3-1 tourney) dispatched DeKalb 81-54, as O’Brien nearly recorded a triple-double. The Southern Illinois recruit racked up 22 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals. Ebube chipped in 17 points and 5 rebounds.

Both O’Brien and Ebube were named to the all-tournament team.