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Daily Journal
     February 4, 2020      #74-35 KDJ
 

Third-quarter surge brings Boilermakers

By Mike Frey
sports@daily-journal.com


KANKAKEE — A regulation varsity high school basketball game lasts 32 minutes, but the outcome often is determined in a more succinct amount of time.

Such was the case Sunday, as the Bradley-Bourbonnais boys team made a surge in the final six minutes of the third quarter to take control and claim a 63-44 victory against Providence St. Mel in the Top Notch Basketball Health Awareness Challenge played at Kankakee Community College.

It was the second win in three days for the Boilers, who improved to 12-10 on the season.

BBCHS was in a good spot at halftime, as the Boilermakers claimed a 30-19 lead by intermission. But the third period began with consecutive 3-point goals by Providence’s Sherod Dent to cut the lead to five. That’s when Bradley kicked it up a notch to end the Knights’ hopes of a full comeback.

During the remainder of the quarter, BBCHS outscored Providence 25-7. By the time the fourth quarter arrived, the Boilers led 55-32, and coach Alex Renchen was providing extended playing time for the reserve members of the team.

“The last six minutes of the third quarter, we did a better job of executing,” Renchen said. “The last six minutes we contested, and we competed.”

Mark Robinson, a 6-foot-4 inch sophomore forward, was right in the middle of the Boilermakers’ decisive run. He scored 13 points in that time frame, including a pair of 3-point goals. While he was sharp on offense, Robinson believed the Boilers’ defense set the tone.

“We were strong on defense,” he said, adding the team’s offense feeds off its defense. “It happens for us a couple of times per game.”

Proof of the Boilermakers’ fine defensive effort can be found in Providence’s poor shooting. The Knights connected on only 14 of their 53 shots from the field (26.4 percent). From 3-point range, Providence struggled even more, making only four of 23 attempts (17.4 percent).

The outcome certainly was different from last year, when the two clubs also met in the Top Notch Basketball Health Awareness Challenge, and Providence took a decisive 71-41 win. The year as a whole has been different for Providence. After winning the IHSA Class 1A state championship in 2019, the Knights’ record dropped to 1-22 after the loss to Bradley.

Stat book

Robinson, was the Boilers’ leading scorer overall, finishing with 23 points. Gabe Renchen added 14, and freshman center Owen Freeman finished with 12.

Up next

BBCHS, which now has won two in a row to improve its record to 12-10, travels to play at Stagg on Tuesday night.

Hope Academy 61, Peotone 51 (girls)

In the first challenge game of the day, Hope Academy pulled away at the end to claim a 10-point win.

Peotone led well into the second half, but the fourth quarter was not kind to the Blue Devils, as Hope broke open a close contest.

“The whole game was a game of spurts,” Peotone coach Joe Graffeo said. “We built a lead, then we ran out of gas.”

The game did have a benefit even in defeat, Graffeo said. Both Hope and Peotone are quality teams that entered Sunday with 19 wins apiece.

“This is the type of team we will play in our regional,’’ he said.

Stat book

Courtney Burks led Peotone with 14 points, and Mae Graffeo scored 13.

Up next

Peotone (19-8) will host Wilmington in an Illinois Central Eight Conference game tonight.

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