IL Boys 4A Third Place: Bloom vs Rockford Auburn

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 17, 2012

Peoria — Both teams come in to this game a little short of playing for the Boys Class 4A title. Bloom lost to top ranked Simeon, while Rockford Auburn lost to Proviso East.

The Blazing Trojans fell short, 57-46, against Rock Auburn in the third place (consolation) game at Carver Arena.

“The slow start definitely cost us,’’ Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. ‘‘We were back on our heels all day.’’

In the first half Bloom shot 2-for-11 from the field, but only trailed 8 points at the half (28-20). But they had a bigger problem, Wichita State recruit Fred  VanFleet of Rockford Auburn. He was explosive on both ends of the court and finished the night with 21 points and 5 assists.

Bloom made one more run in the fourth quarter to cut their lead down to 49-42 that included a basket by Donald Moore with 2:43 remaining, but this proved not  enough.

‘‘That was not Bloom you saw out there,’’ Williams said. ‘‘We pride ourselves on tough defense and team-play, and we were just not focused today at all.’’

Donald Moore, the team’s leading scorer and captain, echoed his coach’s sentiments. ‘‘It’s not the way we wanted to finish,’’ Moore said. ‘‘We just couldn’t get our heads into the game and that’s not how we were taught to play.’’

Moore finished the game with 16 points, and teammate Dejahown Freeman contributed nine.


Auburn coach Bryan Ott said his team played with a chip on their shoulder. ‘‘We lost twice to Proviso East and we wanted to leave here on a positive note,” Ott said. ‘‘We know how people view us and we used that as motivation to beat a very good Bloom team.’’

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IL Boys 4A semifinals: Bloom vs Simeon

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 15, 2012

PEORIA — Bloom did everything right against top-ranked Simeon in the Illinois Boys 4A semifinal contest except win as they fall 45-35.

Coming into the game, the plan was to hold junior phenom Jabari Parker in control… done!

Control the tempo of the game… done!

Pressure the ball in the back court and double whenever possible without leaving a player clearly open… check!

The only uncheck mark left was win…. uncheck!

This is one of the only teams to hold Parker without field goal in the first half of a game.

“They were expecting to play us their way, and they did,” said Parker, who finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks. “They slowed it down and face-guarded me the whole game.”

A bright spot for the Wolverines was junior guard, Kendrick Nunn, who shot pretty well but he covered Bloom’s Donald Moore very well. Nunn was able to keep him from penetrating and having his way, and when he did get in the lane, Parker, Steve Taylor or Kendall Pollard were there to swat his shot away.

Moore’s first successful jumper was a 3-pointer that brought the Blazing Trojans within 36-34 with 2
minutes, 24 seconds remaining.

Then Parker countered on the other end, getting fouled on a mid-range jumper and completing the three-point play to make it 39-34 with 1:58 left.

“I want to give Bloom a lot of credit,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “They pushed us to the limit. I thought they out-toughed us. We came up with some key plays down. From my aspect, I really thought we should have lost the game.”

Lejavius Johnson led all players with 18 points. Taylor led the Wolverines with 13, followed by Jaylon Tate, who added 11.

The Wolverines (32-1) will face unbeaten Proviso East (32-0) in a heavyweight Illinois Boys 4A instant classic Saturday night at 8:15 pm.

Simeon and Proviso East have been ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, since the preseason.

“Going into Proviso, I need to find better ways to get my teammates open and get shots for myself,” said Parker. “This is a bad time to be messing up. We just have to tweak some things and get back to the blueprint.”

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