Boys Basketball: Strong second half lifts Joliet Central past Rich Central
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org December 27, 2012 9:48PM
Updated: January 29, 2013 6:21AM
Joliet Central coach Jeff Corcoran didn’t like the look on his players’ faces at halftime of Thursday’s McDipper consolation contest against Rich Central.
Moments earlier, Rich Central’s McKinley Marseille beat the halftime buzzer with a halfcourt heave that tied the game at 23.
“You would have thought the world ended when they hit that three at the buzzer by the look on the kids’ faces,” Corcoran said. “I told the kids, ‘It’s our ball coming out of the half. We have to forget about that (shot).’ ”
The Steelmen didn’t exactly come storming out of the halftime gate. However, they did put together a critical 9-0 run that stretched from the end of the third period and into the fourth. That run proved to be the difference during Joliet Central’s 55-46 victory.
“We got the lead and made that little run,” Corcoran said. “That was important.”
The Steelmen (7-4) also made an important run from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, converting 10-of-10 attempts.
Jonah Cable, who finished with a game-high 18 points, knocked down six of those charity attempts. Edward McElrath (8 points) converted the other four.
“These guys have taken a good approach from the line and have knocked them down this year,” Corcoran said. “I wish we could have had that from our teams in the years past.”
It’s a past with plenty of tradition, one Corcoran hopes this group of experienced seniors are ready to live up to.
However, to do that, the Steelmen — specifically, their guards — will have to do a better job of handling pressure. The Olympians unleashed fullcourt assault in the second quarter, which caused major problems for the Steelmen. That allowed the Olympians (6-6) to erase a 19-10 deficit and forge the 23-all tie.
“The guards have to step up and protect the ball better,” Corcoran said. “We’ve struggled with pressure.”
Jalen Heath added 12 points for Joliet Central, which shot 21-of-54 from the field and finished 10-of-12 from the line.
William Berry and Jalen Miller tied for team-high scoring honors with 11 for Rich Central, which was 15-of-42 from the field and 14-of-24 from the stripe.
Bolingbrook 73, Thornton 57: Kendall Guyton (17 points), Prentiss Nixon (16), Ben Moore (15) and Kenny Williams (14) led a balanced attack for Bolingbrook in a consolation tilt. Bolingbrook exploded for 24 points in the final quarter. Williams added 15 rebounds for the Raiders, who converted 24-of-37 from the field. Justin Montgomery (18 points), D’Andre Fuller (15) and Justin Taylor (10) led Thornton.