CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Making the extra pass is not something new to the Bloom Township offense. The Blazing Trojans have been doing it all year long.
Bloom Township finished with 18 assists as a team and used patience at the offensive end to help run out a 16-point first quarter lead on the way to a 74-46 win over Plainfield South at the 4A Bloom Township Regional semis. The Blazing Trojans's Mickhiell Harris led the team in scoring with 20 points. James Coleman scored 15 and had five assists, while Jared Johnson chipped in 18 points. Dalvin Echols added seven assists for the Blazing Trojans and Davontae Henry came off the bench for 11 points.
"These players know what this time of year is all about," Bloom Township coach Ron Ashlaw said. "If we could get to our third and fourth looks, we were going to get some wide open looks, which we did. That's how we've been all year. I've never thought of this as a selfish team."
Bloom Township (18-8) took a 24 point lead into the half and never looked back. The Blazing Trojans aren't afraid to share the ball and senior captain Coleman has total confidence in his team when the Blazing Trojans are sharing the offensive wealth.
"We know playing as a team and playing together, we can beat anybody," Coleman said. "All the intensity was there tonight, and the defensive pressure was there."
Bloom Township moves on to Friday night's championship match to face Joliet Central. In the night cap, Crete-Monee was unable to hold a 11 point halftime lead, as Joliet Central outscored the Warriors 43-19 in the second half. Tyler Williams scored 16 for the Warriors in the loss.
"We started rushing," Crete-Monee coach Tom Cappel said. "We missed layups. I love their effort. I'm not discouraged by their effort, I'm just disappointed we didn't execute."
Despite a second half where the Warriors found themselves flat-footed for most of the half, Crete-Monee (15-13) found themselves down only three with three minutes remaining in the game. The Warriors were unable to get a defensive stop or a rebound and finished with only two points at the offensive end in the game's final four minutes.