Boys Basketball: Joliet Catholic bows vs. Nazareth
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media December 8, 2012 12:04AM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:40AM
As it has done in seven of its nine games this year, Joliet Catholic was a possession or two away from coming away with a victory.
However, as it has done in eight of its nine games, Joliet Catholic could not get over the hump in a 48-41 loss Friday night to Nazareth in Joliet.
It was the East Suburban Catholic Conference opener for each team. Nazareth improved to 5-1 while Joliet Catholic fell to 1-8.
“We kept the game at the pace we wanted, they had to work for every basket and we gave ourselves a chance to compete,” Hilltoppers coach Joe Gura said. “That’s a one- or two-possession game against a team that beat us by 40 last year.”
Nazareth’s Tyler Jackson, a 7-foot, 275-pound sophomore, had 13 points and 10 rebounds. John Bonk also reached double figures with 11 points.
Ryan Peter was the lone Hilltopper in double digits with 16 points.
Leading 12-8 after a quarter, Joliet Catholic extended its lead to 15-9 on a three-pointer by James Regan with 6:40 left in the second quarter.
“We couldn’t get going, and that’s a credit to Joliet Catholic,” Nazareth coach John Bonk said. “We wanted to penetrate their zone and get the ball inside, and we did the exact opposite. When we started doing those things, the game started to go our way.”
The younger Bonk’s block, rebound and two free throws during the final minute of the second quarter tied it at 17. Alex Edwards’ free throw during the final seconds capped a 9-2 run and allowed the Roadrunners to take an 18-17 lead into the locker room. Joliet Catholic never again would lead.
Nazareth led 35-27 after three quarters and by as many as 10 points early in the fourth.
Harold Davis’ three-pointer with 1:07 left in the game cut the lead to 43-39. That was as close as the Hilltoppers would get. Davis led the hosts in rebounding with 10.
“We had very little energy left by then,” Gura said. “I told the kids their effort was great, and I want them to understand we’re getting better. Our conference is one of the best in the area. This is what it’s going to be like every night.”