Boys Basketball: Rich East upsets Crete-Monee
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media December 7, 2012 11:28PM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:23AM
Thanks to Marvie Keith’s scoring surge, No. 7 Crete-Monee appeared poised to escape Rich East’s upset bid Friday night.
Ronald Lawton had other ideas.
After Keith poured in nine points in 72 seconds to give the Warriors the lead, Lawton scored the game’s final six points to lift the host Rockets to a 53-50 win in a Southland Conference opener.
“This is a really big win,” Lawton said. “Crete’s at the top of our conference and now we know we can compete with anyone.”
Lawton, who buried three three-pointers and had 11 points in the first quarter as the Rockets (2-1, 1-0) jumped to a 16-7 lead, finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Keith had 19 points and four rebounds while Mark Conner scored 16 points for Crete-Monee (5-1, 0-1).
Lawton hit two free throws to pull the Rockets to within 50-49 with 1:21 to go. When Rich East got the ball back, coach George Leonard called a timeout and set up an inbounds play that led to Lawton receiving the pass while driving down the lane to hit the go-ahead runner.
After Keith missed on a drive, Lawton delivered the exclamation point with a dunk in the closing seconds.
“That felt really good,” Lawton said. “We had to regroup and we knew the game wasn’t over until there were zeroes on the clock.”
Keith, who appeared to suffer a knee injury on the final drive, snapped a 14-0 Rich East run when he hit three free throws then buried back-to-back treys to give the Warriors a 48-47 lead with 2:43 to go.
The Rockets held Crete scoreless for 8 minutes, 25 seconds before the surge.
“We got beat at the buzzer five times last year, so this was big for all our psyches,” Leonard said.
Washawn Watson (10 points) and Don Henderson (7 points, 7 rebounds) pitched in for the Rockets.
Tyler Williams had seven points and seven rebounds for the Warriors. Laquon Treadwell added two points and nine rebounds in his season debut.