By Tim Froehlig
New Trier hit five free throws in the final 38 seconds of the game to hold off host Waukegan 54-53 on Friday in a battle of Central Suburban League South Division unbeatens.The Trevians are 3-0 in the division and 8-1 overall while Waukegan is 2-1 in the division and 3-5 overall.Connor Boehm, New Triers 6-8 senior center, scored a game-high 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds and hit one of two free throws with 38 seconds left to put the Trevians ahead 50-47.After a Waukegan miss, David Bragiel hit two free throws with 23 seconds left to give the visitors a 52-47 bulge.Waukegans Akeem Springs (team-high 18 points) then hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds left tom make it 52-50.But then, Austin Angel hit two free throws with six seconds left to make it 54-50, and that was enough to survive a three-pointer by Dijon Ross just before the final horn.Angel finished with 10 points, and Steven Cook had 11.New Trier got just two points from its bench in the contest. It finished 11 of 12 from the free-throw line in the game, while Waukegan was 8 of 12.New Trier started the game on fire and led 15-5 after one quarter. But in the second period, the Bulldogs hit 5 of 7 from three-point range to get with 28-26 at halftime. The game seesawed from there, with New Trier taking the lead for good with 1:51 left on a layup by Cook at 49-47.We feel like we have a very versatile team, said Boehm, who carried the workload on offense against a small, fast Waukegan squad. We can adjust accordingly offensively, depending on the type of team we play.New Trier coach Scott Fricke was pleased to get out of the Dog Pound with a victory.It turns out our free-throw shooting down the stretch was huge, Fricke said, because they hit two big threes at the end of the game. Give Waukegan credit. They played really hard tonight.I thought our defense was good, but we gave up 11 offensive rebounds to Waukegan in the first half.As far as leading the division, Fricke knows theres a long way to go.Our senior leadership and our execution are the keys. We have to get the ball where we want to on offense.For Waukegan, Davonte Taylor added 10 points and five rebounds, and Jordan Johnson had 10 points and five assists.Waukegan is now idle until after Christmas when it plays at the Pontiac tourney. New Trier will head to Proviso West after Christmas.