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Girls Basketball: Joliet Central rallies past Bloom

Bloom's Jailyn Lumpk(center) fights for ball with Joliet Central's Morgan Jones (left) TaliFranchini (right). | John Smierciak/For Sun-Times Media

Bloom's Jailyn Lumpkin (center) fights for the ball with Joliet Central's Morgan Jones (left) and Talia Franchini (right). | John Smierciak/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 11, 2014 6:24AM



Joliet Central had a start for the ages Monday night.

A start to forget.

Against host Bloom, the Steelmen took the court and promptly fell behind 14-0 in three-plus minutes.

“That start means we’ve got to do more,” Central’s Chavon Banks said. “Get after more balls and major defensive teamwork instead of working as individuals.”

Maybe the awful start was just what the Steelmen needed. Joliet Central regrouped in a big way late in the quarter and onward, running past host Bloom 68-51 in Chicago Heights.

Banks finished with 16 points, Juatece McNear 14 and Chantell Mack and Jolene Butler 10 apiece for Joliet Central (5-2).

Working uphill on that quick 14-point deficit, McNear and Co. went to work. Central rattled off its own ridiculous run, piling up 17 unanswered points at the end of the first quarter and into the second as Bloom struggled to get into its offense. McNear scored 10 of her 14 in the first half to fuel the Steelmen.

Bloom went almost seven minutes without a point over the first and second quarters.

“We came out with everyone trying to do their own thing,” McNear said. “We needed to shake things off, get ready and get heated.”

The Steelmen were downright hot in the third quarter, outscoring Bloom 25-16 to go up 50-39. Banks was the Energizer Bunny, going crazy inside and out. The senior forward drilled two wing three-pointers, sank a midrange jumper and scored twice inside on offensive rebounds.

That early deficit very much was a thing of the past.

“We brought (the energy),” Banks said. “That’s it. Coach (Brian Reed) talked about turning up the energy and playing defense. Keeping it simple, really.”

Bloom (2-6) played much of the game without star guard Danielle King, who left early in the first with an apparent leg injury. The junior returned briefly in the third quarter before exiting for good.

The Blazing Trojans were led by Anika Johnson (19 points) and Ariana Dampier (14).



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