SPC East's Joliet Central, Plainfield East and Plainfield South shine at WW South MLK Tourney
Maine South wins three games in 24 hours;Romeoville gets big home win over L-W Central
Last updated 1/19/2020 at 11:11am
For Joliet Central's Lawrence Thompson, Jr, Plainfield East's Mike Fowler and Plainfield South's Tim Boe, their boys' 2019-20 varsity basketball campaigns have had a few more downs than ups. On Saturday in Wheaton, the three Southwest Prairie Conference schools had more ups than downs.
In their Wheaton Warrenville South Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Tournament first-round games, all three dropped close decisions to higher-seeded teams.
Thompson's Steelmen (9-13) fell to the tournament hosts and No.4 seed Wheaton Warrenville South, 50-45.
Fowler's Bengals (4-17) battled the tournament's No.2-seed Benet Academy (13-4) before falling 62-49 and Boe's Cougars (5-14) fell 68-60 to the tournament's No. 5-seed Morton (11-5).
In their second game of the day, all three showed their true grit and came away with huge victories.
Plainfield East defeated Glenbard North 70-64. Joliet Central took care of No. 3 seed Huntley, 57-53 and Plainfield South took apart Wheaton Academy 65-51.
Joliet Central will take on Rockford East (11-9) on Monday morning at 8 a.m. in a consolation championship semifinal. Following the Steelmen at 9:30, Plainfield School District 202 rivals Plainfield East and Plainfield South will battle in the second consolation semifinal.
The SPC is guaranteed a spot in Monday's consolation championship game at 3:45.
JOLIET CENTRAL 61 HUNTLEY 57
The Steelmen held a slim 30-27 lead at halftime of their battle with the tourney's No. 3-seed Huntley (16-5). The Red Raiders closed to within 43-42 after three quarters. The fourth quarter was an all-out war.
Steelmen junior Lavalle Hughes' long-range three-pointer and freshman Troy Cicero's bucket gave the Steelmen a 48-42 lead with 6:11 left.
Leading 50-46, Cicero hit from downtown for a 53-46 Steelmen lead with 5:54 left.
Down the stretch, the Steelmen were led by their 6-foot-8 senior Key Hargrove who scored eight points in the crucial fourth quarter.
"When Troy shot the huge three-pointer I didn't think it would go in but happily for us it did," Hargrove said. "This win in our third game in less that 24 hours is all about our teamwork. We all worked together to get this huge win."
"This all began for us down in Bloomington at Christmas," Thompson said. "We really bonded down in Bloomington and became a team. This win was all about heart. I am so proud of our players."
PLAINFIELD EAST 70 GLENBARD NORTH 64
Plainfield East senior guard Nick Smoldt was sick and tired of the Bengals' current nine-game, losing streak.
Smoldt dropped 23 points on Glenbard North and put an end to the Bengals losing ways in the second game on Saturday. Keron Killins, Aidan Rapier, Joshua Uju and Kyle Taylor all had seven points to contribute to the huge Bengal win.
"We battled and battled tonight and put an end to our nine-game losing streak," Fowler said. "Finally, we are on the correct side of the scoreboard and it feels great."
PLAINFIELD SOUTH 65 WHEATON ACADEMY 51
After falling to Morton in their first game of the day despite a 21-point scoring game from senior Devin Jones, the Cougars took out all of their frustration on the Warriors (11-8).
"We finally knocked down our shots tonight," Boe said. "We won this game with our defense, in the second and third quarter. Everything looks a lot better, when your shots are going down."
MAINE SOUTH/MAINE EAST MLK
Maine South 41 Crete Monee 31
Hawks 6-foot-5 junior Marko Anderson again led the Hawks to victory on Saturday. Anderson scored 12 points and hauled down six rebounds to lead Maine South (9-9) past the Warriors (2-16). Sean Gallery added 11 points and three rebounds and Danny Locascio scored four points grabbed three rebounds and dished out four more assists.
Maine South 74 Amundsen 31
The Hawks (10-9) opened up a 44-16 lead at the half over the Vikings and never looked back, for their third win in 24 hours. Milan Adamovic and Nik Zelenovic each had 13 points to put the Hawks back over .500 for the season.
Maine East 71 Amundsen 50
The Blue Devils (4-15) trounced the Vikings (6-9) after falling to Crete Monee (3-16).
Romeoville 66 Lincoln-Way Central 62
The Ville (13-10) picked up the huge home nonconference victory over the Knights (12-6).
Lisle 41 Newark 35
The Illinois Central 8 leaders from Lisle (10-8) took care of the Norsemen (8-12) in Lisle on Saturday. The Lion defense won this one by holding Newark to just two fourth quarter points, to wipe out a 33-31 Norsemen lead after three quarters.
Niles West 54 Lakes 44
The Wolves (10-10) are back at .500 with the win over the Eagles