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By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Steelmen rally past Plainfield North in SPC Crossover on Plainfeld's North Side

 

Last updated 2/28/2021 at 11:38am



In a Southwest Prairie Conference crossover battle on Plainfield's North Side, the Steelmen of Joliet Central and the host Tigers of Plainfield North put on a show for 32 minutes.

With 9.7 seconds remaining in regulation, Steelmen 6-foot-4 senior Ryan Wisneski (eight points, seven rebounds,two blocks) stood at the free-throw line with Joliet Central up 51-50.

Wisneski had two shots.

"I went to the line thinking that I was in the gym practicing my free-throws," Wisneski said.

Swish. Swish. All net. Steelmen 53, Tigers 50.

Tigers junior Demir Ashiru (11 points) drove to the basket for two, pulling the Tigers within one at 53-52, with 1.8 seconds left.

With the Tigers with no time outs remaining, the Steelmen just let the clock strike 0:00.

Joliet Central (4-5, 4-4) was led by junior Lavalle Hughes, who scored a game-high 18 points.

Plainfield North (5-4, 5-3 West) was led by senior Carlos Conley, who scored 12 of his team-high 16 points, in the second half.

With 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the visiting Steelmen up 40-34, a strange occurrence took place on Plainfield's north side.

A cloth strap that was attached to the steel support fixture for the backboard broke.

After a 10 minute-delay, Plainfield North's outstanding maintenance department tied up the broken strap and the game continued.

The unannounced time out energized Conley and his Tiger teammates.

Conley scored the last four points of the third quarter pulling the Tigers within 40-38 after three quarters.

Conley scored to tie the game at 40 and when junior Mason Delaney (five points) buried a three from the corner the Tigers led 43-40 with 5:51 remaining in the game.

Hughes scored for Joliet Central before Tiger senior Adam Smith (eight points, two 3's) knocked down another Tiger three for a 46-42 lead.

Plainfield North extended its lead to 47-42 on an Alexander Brode (three points) free throw with 4:38 — the mask time out.

A 12-2 Tiger run since the backboard incident.

The Steelmen responded.

Martin buried a three. Conley scored inside and Martin struck again from beyond the arc, which pulled the Steelmen within one point at 49-48 with 2:33 left.

The 6-foot-4 Wisneski showed off his outside shooting prowess with a huge three to give the Steelmen a 51-49 lead they would never relinquish.

In the second quarter, with the Tigers up 21-20, junior Drew Czarnik scored five points off the bench. Also off the bench, Tiger senior Jay Paskvan buried a three for a 29-21 Tiger lead with under two minutes in the half.

The Steelmen answered with an 11-0 run, led by Hughes, to close out the half with a 31-29 lead. Hughes scored 11 second-quarter points for Central.

"I was shooting the ball well," Hughes said. "We played good defense. This was a big win after our loss last night."

"After last night's loss we had to come back and win tonight," Martin said. "We played great defense and turned them over. They left me open and I knocked down the big three-pointers in the fourth quarter."

Steelmen sophomore Troy Cicero chipped in with 11 points, including three long-range three pointers in the first half.

"We have had a number of tough loses," Wisneski added. ''It was great to come out of here with the win."

"After last night's blowing a lead at Yorkville, this was great for the kids to get this win," Joliet Central coach Lawrence Thompson Jr. said. "We handled the ball better tonight and for not being able to practice, we have played well. The key on Sam Martin's big three's in the fourth quarter were the passes from the inside-out. Plainfield North does a great job of collapsing on the inside. We made great passes to our three-point shooters, who knocked them down."

GIRLS

Minooka 41 Plainfield South 35

The Indians defeated the Cougars in a Southwest Prairie Conference battle on Saturday night behind a 22-point performance from freshman Makenzie Brass. Brass scored 16 of her game-high 22 pointsin the second half.

Minooka senior Tea Milazzo, could have been arrested for larceny by the Joliet police on Saturday.

The Indian senior point guard had six steals in the game, while senior Lexi Christensen scored eight points and handed out six assists for the victorious Indians (4-5).

 

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