Boys Basketball: Providence upends Joliet Catholic
Joliet Catholic coach Joe Gura said the final score did not reflect how good a basketball game it was.
Providence delivered the knockout blow midway through the second half Saturday night and the visiting Celtics went on to beat Gura’s Hilltoppers 44-33.
“That was the third time they punched us in the mouth,” Gura said of the Celtics’ 14-2 second-half run, which followed a 10-2 Joliet Catholic run and eradicated a 28-27 deficit. “A cat only has so many lives.
“The thing is, we had to expend so much energy on each defensive possession. It was unbelievable. It was a credit to my kids and to coach (Tim) Trendel’s kids that they kept after it. This is a great rivalry, and the final score does not reflect the type of game it was.”
“They’re well coached,” Trendel said of the Hilltoppers. “They’re going to give someone fits in the state tournament.”
Miles Boykin, Providence’s 6-foot-6 junior forward, missed five games after suffering a concussion against Joliet Central in the championship game of the WJOL Thanksgiving Tournament. He returned for the York Christmas Tournament, and this was his fifth game back.
The Division I football prospect finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
“Miles seems to be 100 percent but is still getting his basketball legs,” Trendel said.
Boykin said winning at Joliet Catholic (5-10) was no easy task.
“They play a pretty good zone,” he said. “They do what they can to beat you.”
Boykin opened the game with an alley-oop dunk and dunked twice more.
“Anything to get the team going,” he said.
“Having Miles back is a huge help,” said senior guard Ryan Brankin, who led the Celtics with 11 points. “He’s a Division I athlete, the best player on our team. He makes a world of difference.”
The Celtics (7-7) went 1-4 in December and 2-2 at Christmas.
“I think we have turned the corner,” Brankin said.
“We missed some open threes and wide-open layups tonight,” Trendel said. “That’s the kind of rut we’re in now. I think our time is coming. Look out when it happens.”
Tyler Pygon chipped in eight points for Providence, and Jack Brody grabbed seven rebounds, helping the Celtics to a 36-21 advantage.
Colton Kolowski had 12 points and five rebounds for Joliet Catholic.
Providence’s man-to-man defense limited Hilltoppers season scoring leader Jalen Jackson to three points on 1-of-8 shooting.