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Boys Basketball: Bloom’s defense too much for Lemont

Updated: December 22, 2013 2:17AM



Bloom had a good but not great first half Saturday.

The Blazing Trojans saved their best, though, for the third quarter.

Holding a 10-point lead, Bloom unleashed its pressure defense at its best, and the huge third-quarter run sparked the Blazing Trojans to a 67-55 win over Lemont at Saturday’s Crete-Monee Shootout.

“Our coaches told us to come out and set the tone early,” Bloom’s Jared Johnson said. “Just don’t let up.”

Scoring eight of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter, Johnson was the one setting the tone Saturday for the Blazing Trojans, who held a 35-25 lead at the break.

After a Mickhiell Harris bucket on a pass from James Coleman, Jordan scored two quick baskets, one on a steal and drive inside and the other on an offensive rebound as Bloom scored six points in less than a minute.

Coleman’s basket in the post and two free throws by Dalvin Echols (10 points) capped an extended 12-0 run over the second and third quarters as Bloom capitalized on its team speed and height advantage inside.

“We’re looking inside first, always,” Johnson said. “We’ve got the big man, James, so we look to him.”

Lemont never cut the deficit to single digits again, but hot-shooting Mike Wisz, David Czupta and Spencer Nelson helped make Bloom work for the win.

“Lemont is a good shooting team, and we watched the tape, knew they’d be coming off screens, shooting and making a lot of jump shots,” Johnson said. “We tried to get a hand in their face, mess them up and alter their shot.”

Wisz finished with 18 points for Lemont (6-4). Luis Marquez, Ryan Shereck and Nelson had eight points apiece for the Indians.

“We let it get away from us a little bit,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said. “Our defensive intensity just wasn’t able to match what Bloom did offensively. Mike wants to win, and he and the team responded (late).”



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