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Boys Basketball: Joliet Central gets past Lockport

Ralph Blakney Lockport makes move around Joliet Central's Victor Douglas. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media

Ralph Blakney, of Lockport, makes a move around Joliet Central's Victor Douglas. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 27, 2013 6:33AM



For lovers of offensive basketball, the first half was a snooze.

Joliet Central senior guard Jalen Heath said it was only a matter of time.

“We knew shots were going to start falling eventually,” Heath said Monday night after he and junior guard Conah Coble combined for 30 of their 38 points in the second half to power the Steelmen past rival Lockport 56-51 in the opening round of the Class 4A Lockport Regional. “The first half was just one of those defensive games.”

Heath’s three-pointer capped a 5-0 run that gave No. 5 Central (13-14) a 16-14 halftime lead.

Then he hit two more threes in rapid succession early in the third quarter as the Steelmen stretched their lead to 30-18.

Lockport (8-19) battled back and got as close as four points in the closing seconds but could not scale the mountain.

“It was kind of iffy playing them for a third time,” Heath said. “I guess the third time was a charm for us. They beat us last time, so we came in here with a chip on our shoulder.”

“Number 22 (Andrew Gosney) killed us inside the last time and we made some adjustments this time,” said Central coach Jeff Corcoran, whose team, the No. 12 seed in the Thornton Sectional, snapped a five-game losing skid and will meet No. 5 seed T.F. North in Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. regional semifinal. “That and the adjustments coach (Brian) Koehne made in our 1-2-2 halfcourt pressure were keys.”

Gosney, a 6-foot-6 senior, managed two points. David Robinson scored 12 and Grover Anderson 11 for No. 21 seed Lockport, which broke the school record for losses in a season.

Coble finished with 20 points and Heath had 18 for Central, which made 14-of-20 free throws in a fourth quarter that would not end.

“Hats off to Joliet Central,” Lockport coach Lawrence Thompson Jr. said. “They did a nice job mixing defenses and making us work for everything around the basket. For whatever reason, they seemed tougher than us going for the ball, and with their quickness, they’re a tough match-up, tough to guard.”



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