Boys Basketball: De La Salle fends off Providence
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media February 1, 2013 11:36PM
Providence's Kevin Kozan (35) drives to the basket in front of De La Salle's Alvin Ellis (21). | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
De La Salle’s Alvin Ellis was almost unstoppable in the first two quarters Friday night against No. 7 Providence, hitting jumpers, getting inside for layups and dropping in a couple of three-pointers.
The 6-foot-3 senior forward scored 18 of De La Salle’s 28 first-half points and finished with a game-high 27 points to lead the visiting Meteors to a 63-55 Catholic League South victory.
“I had a good warmup. I was just feeling it from the beginning,’’ Ellis said. “I just felt like nobody could come out there and stop me.’’
“There’s a reason he’s going to Minnesota,’’ Providence coach Tim Trendel said. “He’s one of the premier players in the league.’’
Ellis scored seven points in the fourth quarter, including a three-point play on a transition layup that gave De La Salle a 50-43 lead with 5 minutes, 17 seconds to play.
The Celtics fought back and made it 52-48 midway through the quarter before Ellis culminated a 6-0 run with another layup off transition to put De La Salle (13-6, 6-3) ahead 58-48 with 1:42 left.
“Alvin is just a son-of-a-gun as a player,’’ De La Salle coach Tom White said. “He goes offense, defense. He sees all these different defenses. He’s a monster.’’
Guard Marcus White was a key factor with 16 of his 18 points in the second half, including 6-of-6 free throws and two three-pointers.
“A Catholic League win on the road is big,’’ White said. “I’m not saying we’re the Big Ten or the ACC, but it’s the same principle. Us being able to hang in there and get it done was a big thing for us.’’
Kevin Kozan led Providence (11-12, 4-5) with 20 points. Miles Boykin contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds.
“At times we had some costly turnovers. Their pressure got to us,’’ Trendel said. “Otherwise, pound for pound, both ends of the court, we played them about as tough as you could expect.’’