JOLIET | Bloom Township answered Joliet Central's rally with a counter rally to escape the host's gym with a 67-60 boys basketball victory in the final game of the MLK Day of Hoops on Monday.
The Blazing Trojans (11-6) led by nine points at the half and appeared to have no trouble, but the Steelmen (11-6) scored six straight points to start the second half, and tied the game on Jonah Coble's 3-pointer with 5:11 left in the third.
It was back and forth from there, with the Steelmen taking a 53-49 lead on the strength of a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter. But Bloom rallied via a full-court press that forced three turnovers and a nine-point counter run, with Jared Johnson (20 points) scoring five of the points.
Joliet pulled to within a point on a Jaylen McGee (14 points) basket, but the Trojans scored nine of the last 12 points to grab the non-conference triumph.
Times No. 5 Bloom easily raced to leads of 9-2 and 15-6, and had a 22-8 margin after the first quarter. The Steelmen began to cut the gap with a surge late in the second quarter.
Mount Carmel 62, Bolingbrook 57: The Times No. 3 Caravan (14-6) got a double-double from Gabe Grant to beat the Raiders (11-3).
Grant had 21 points and 12 rebounds, while David Nichols had a 22 points, which included 15-of-19 free-throw shooting.
Christian Searles added 10 points as Mount Carmel (14-6) overcame a five-point deficit after three quarters.
Sandburg 75, Crete-Monee 65 (2 OT): Sandburg's double-overtime victory over Crete-Monee didn't come down to free throws.
Except it did. Sandburg made 13 of 14 free-throws in the second overtime to annex a win and send Crete-Monee to its third straight loss.
The Warriors (11-6) made only 14 of 27 across 40 minutes, including missing six of seven in the fourth quarter, when it surrendered a seven-point advantage.
"If we made half of those we missed, we'd have been further ahead," Crete-Monee coach Tom Cappel said.
And that was just the half of it.
"We took bad shots when we had the lead," Cappel said. "We said 'layups only,' and we didn't do it. Obviously, they're not listening.
"We're in a down spin here."
Rashad Lee was listening in the final minute of regulation. His drive to the basket and score over Sandburg's Niko Cahue with 13 seconds left tied the game at 50-50 and forced extra time. Sandburg (6-9) had tied the game at 47 on Alec Martinez's layup following a steal from Lamar Gaines, then went ahead on free throws.
Crete-Monee came back from a 58-56 deficit in the first overtime, going ahead on Brandon Johnson's three-point play, then survived when Cahue made only the first of two free-throws with 8.8 seconds left in the four-minute session.
Martinez' 3-pointer 27 seconds into the second overtime allowed the Eagles to dictate the pace of the game and forced Crete-Monee to foul. A pair of 3-pointers by Williams (23 points) only cut the deficit to 69-65 with 20 seconds remaining.
Five seconds later, a shoving match earned Lee a technical foul, his fifth foul of the game, and a fat lip from a Sandburg player. Cappel was unsure whether Lee had been ejected or had simply fouled out. An ejection would mean Lee would miss Crete-Monee's next game.
Eric Straka (23 points) and Martinez (18) led Sandburg. Johnson added 19 for Crete-Monee.