Boys Basketball: WJOL Classic title goes to Crete-Monee
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media November 24, 2012 9:38PM
Providence guard Kevin Kozan tries to drive around Crete-Monee guard Marquette Muhammad. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 24, 2013 4:47PM
Crete-Monee’s Marvie Keith has proved he can score from just about anywhere on the court in his three-year varsity career.
But the senior guard is far from a one-dimensional player.
Setting up his teammates with six assists while pouring in 25 points, Keith helped Crete-Monee to a 53-46 win over Providence in Saturday’s championship at the WJOL Thanksgiving Classic at the University of St. Francis.
“The coaches tell us that it starts with me and (fellow senior) Mark Conner,” Keith said. “They say the team will go as far as we can take them. We’ve been putting the work in in practice and this could be our year.”
Conner (12 points) was named the tournament MVP. Rashad Lee added 10 points and five rebounds for Crete-Monee (4-0).
Having helped the Warriors come back from a six-point halftime deficit, Keith scored 10 points in the third quarter, including two long three-pointers.
It was in the fourth, though, with Providence charging, that Keith came through distributing the ball. On a hard drive down the lane, Keith drew three defenders and found a wide-open Lee under the basket.
A possession later, Conner was the recipient of a Keith pass. Cutting baseline, Conner’s bucket put Crete-Monee up 49-42 with a minute to go in the game.
“I tell the guys ‘Get open and I’ll find you,’ ” Keith said. “They might not think I see them, but I do, so just look for the ball.”
Keith drilled two free throws and scored on a breakaway when he picked off a Providence pass at halfcourt in the final minute.
“It’s a great start for us,” Keith said. “It’s always a good start when you win a Thanksgiving tournament.”
Providence (3-1) was led by Miles Boykin (16 points) and Kevin Kozan (12 points, 5 assists). The Celtics shot just 15-of-49 from the floor and 5-of-23 from beyond the arc.
“Our execution was solid and the shots were there,” Providence coach Tim Trendel said. “I think it’s just that early part of the year where we’re adjusting to the speed.”