Hard Work, Leadership Drive Scouts to Fast Start

Carter Bass demonstrates traits of Lake Forest High School boys’ basketball team as four seniors average double figure scoring.

An intense desire to improve every day mixed with a strong dose of senior leadership has propelled the Lake Forest High School boys’ basketball team to its best start in four years with a 10-3 record and 6-4 Co-captain Carter Bass is a personification of those qualities.

Bass understands Coach Phil LaScala’s charge to the team to strive to play its best basketball toward the end of the season when regional play begins. The Scouts spend each day in practice moving toward that goal.

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“Let’s get better today,” LaScala tells the team at each practice. “If all 13 guys can go out and improve on a daily basis we’ll be OK at the end of the year.” He also counts on his seniors to help. “They’re an example to the younger guys.”

In his fourth year with the Scout varsity, Bass knows what it is like to be mentored by a senior as an underclassman. He also experienced a season ending loss two years ago knowing he was part of a team that did not play its best in the last game of the season.

“It’s a feeling you never want to have,” Bass said of a season ending loss to Fremd in the Regional championship game two years ago. He learned his lesson and is passing it on. “You need to leave everything out on the court. Four years of high school basketball has taught me that.”

Tommy Rees Was a Mentor to Bass

Bass also remembers the help he got as a freshman on the Scout varsity and is trying to pay forward the aid he got from seniors then. “I try to lead by example, he said. “When I was a freshman I had Tommy Rees take me under his wing. Now I try to do the same.”

Rees continues to mentor. He now plays that role for the undefeated and top ranked University of Notre Dame football team which plays for the national championship today.

The team effort is also paying off. Bass is one of four Scouts averaging in double figures for the season at 10.1 points per game. He is joined by 6-9 center Sam Downey (16.2), 6-7 forward Evan Boudreaux (11.6) and 6-4 guard Ben Simpson (10.0).

Downey and Bordreaux are also dominating the boards with Bordreaux averaging 8.1 rebounds per game and Downey eight. While not scoring as much, 5-11 point guard George Quall averages 4.5 assists per contest setting up his teammates’ scores.

Defense Continues to Improve

While the offense has been sparking from the start, LaScala has been pleased with the improvement of the team’s defense in recent games. He knows it will help the Scouts at the offensive end of the floor as well.

“If we want to be as good as we can be we have to get the necessary stops (on defense),” LaScala said. “It will help us in transition and make us better on the offensive end.”

Downey has taken the defensive lessons to heart. He knows what the team has to do to limit an opponent’s scoring. Part of that includes teammates helping each other out.

“We need to help on the help side defense,” Downey said. “When someone gets past one of our players we have to help him out and pick up the man,” he added describing the teamwork LaScala coaches.

Coming off a second place finish in the Hinsdale South Holiday Tournament, the Scouts return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a North Suburban Conference contest at Lake Zurich.

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