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The Journal Gazette

  • Legends guard Austin Boucher scores a basket in the second quarter of Friday night's game at Wayne. (Photos by Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • Wayne guard Darian Causey scores over a North Side defender in the first quarter Friday night at Wayne.

Saturday, January 06, 2018 1:00 am

North Side 70 Wayne 64

Boucher gets 25 to help Legends hold off Wayne

Josh Patterson | For The Journal Gazette

With junior standout Keion Brooks picking up two early fouls, Austin Boucher filled the offensive void with a game-high 25 points as visiting North Side held off a late Wayne surge, 70-64, on Friday to stay perfect in SAC play.

“The team needed me to step up,” Boucher said. “It was really like a championship game. We just have to come out with the fire to put teams away.”

Brooks did add 23 points for North Side (11-3, 3-0 SAC) despite sitting for several first-half minutes, going 7 of 10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Kylon Jarreau finished with 21 points to lead Wayne (4-4, 2-1), while Craig Young scored 18 for the Generals.

It was Jarreau getting the Generals going early, scoring Wayne's first seven points as part of a 9-2 run to start the game. But North Side weathered that initial flurry, embarking on an 11-4 run of its own to tie things up at 13 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.

The Legends wouldn't escape the rest of the quarter unscathed. With 17.1 seconds remaining, Brooks was whistled for his second charge of the game, which forced him to the bench for several minutes.

Cue Boucher. Despite just two points through the first eight minutes, the senior opened and closed the second quarter with 3s as part of an 11-point effort. That final triple gave North Side a 37-32 halftime advantage.

Legends coach Shabaz Khaliq explained that Friday's effort served as a continuation for Boucher, who scored 27 points in North Side's last game, a 90-62 win over South Side to claim the school's fifth straight SAC Holiday Tournament title.

“He's figured out how to look for his while at the same time getting other guys involved,” Khaliq said. “He is coming out and doing a phenomenal job for us. When (Brooks) was out, he stepped up and we needed him to. He was aggressive and assertive.”

While Boucher's aggression manifested in the scoring column, teammate Nate Carbaugh did so in a different fashion, diving to the floor multiple times for loose balls and generally disrupting Wayne's offensive efforts.

“I know the other four are going to put it in the basket,” Carbaugh said. “I have to come out and play defense, get rebounds and do all the little things. It brings a lot of energy, because they see me getting on the ground and that's going to make them go harder.”

North Side made just four of its first eight free throws to open the fourth quarter, but Wayne just couldn't hit enough shots to sustain a run until very late. The Generals did close within 66-62 thanks to an Anthony Phillips steal and layup with 1:17 left, but Boucher and Brooks each knocked down a pair of attempts from the line to seal the victory.

With the Legends serving as a measuring stick for Wayne coach Aaron Rahrer, he left the gym Friday night feeling much better about his team this season than last.

“They beat us by 35 last year, and we're kind of getting there,” Rahrer said. “We took some quick shots throughout the game. We only had five turnovers, but some of those quick shots are turnovers. We have to take care of some of those small things to beat a team like that, but we have something to build off of.”