Boys Basketball: Bloom on a noticeable uptick
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org February 5, 2014 8:12PM
James Coleman, of Bloom | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 7, 2014 1:05PM
Bloom has been on a tear, winning seven of its last nine leading into Friday’s much-anticipated Southland Conference showdown against Rich East.
First-year coach Ron Ashlaw, however, strongly believes the best is yet to come from his squad.
“I don’t think we’ve come close to our ceiling,” Ashlaw said of his team’s potential. “We’re still trying to find our way with this team. We’re literally growing by leaps and bounds. I don’t think from where we’re at right now it will be even close to where we’re going to be three weeks from now.”
The Blazing Trojans heavily rely on their big three of James Coleman, Jared Johnson and Zeke Jackson for not only scoring and defense, but in showing the younger players how things need to be done.
“It’s been a noticeably different approach since Christmas time,” Ashlaw said. “They’re the alpha males. They’re going, ‘This is how it’s supposed to be and we’re going to ensure this how it’s going to be.’ ”
Ashlaw is pleased with the play of juniors Mickhiell Harris and Davantae Henry and sophomore Jamal Parks. Henry has been slowed by an ankle injury.
“Mickhiell is a perfect complement to those guys (Coleman, Johnson, Jackson),” Ashlaw said. “He’s great on the offensive glass and finishing around the basket. Davantae was coming along real strong before his injury. He’s a super-high-energy guy who makes things happen instantaneously.”
With Henry injured, Parks has picked up the slack, even earning a start during Friday’s win over Rich Central.
“The world is his oyster,” Ashlaw said of Parks. “His ceiling is unlimited.”
Similar to that of Bloom.
“We’re in an improvement curve that’s enjoyable to watch,” Ashlaw said. “It’s a process. We’re doing things to get good and we have to do things to remain good.”
Thornton’s 1-2 punch
Thornton has a lot of talent, but it’s the combination of senior forwards Justin Taylor and Jamani Pierce elevating the Wildcats to a higher level.
“Those guys have been a force,” Thornton coach Troy Jackson said. “They’ve come to play every day. Justin’s a horse. He can do a lot of things on the court.”
Player of the Week
David Stacy, of Oak Lawn, is the SouthtownStar Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Stacy, a senior guard, scored 30 points to lead Oak Lawn to a 77-74 double-overtime victory over Shepard.