8:21 PMTuesday, May 24, 2016

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Bloom Rallies For Win

Bloom Rallies For Win

After eight minutes against Joliet Central on January 20, Bloom Township had a 22-8 advantage in the MLK Day of Hoops hosted by the Steelmen.

However with five minutes to go, the Blazing Trojans trailed 55-49. After a poor offensive possession, Bloom coach Ron Ashlaw called a timeout.

The Blazing Trojans emerged from the timeout scoring nine unanswered points. That run propelled Bloom to a 67-60 non-conference win.

"We had lost our focus," Bloom senior James Coleman said. "I was glad that coach took the timeout. We have a tendency to become a little complacent with the lead. We are allowing teams to come back on us. That timeout helped our concentration."

Jared Johnson (15 points, 7 boards, 4 steals) ignited the rally with a 15-foot jumper and added a free throw on the play. The Blazing Trojans then had a pair of steals that resulted in baskets by Johnson and Coleman. Another low-post bucket by Johnson provided Bloom with a 58-55 lead.

"Coach told us that we had to go out and play Bloom defense," Zerell Jackson said. "We had to finish the game with intensity."

The Blazing Trojans also concluded with a strong showing at the charity stripe. Jamal Parks and Jackson each canned a pair of free throws, and Dalvin Echols converted a three-point play to increase the cushion to 65-57. Jackson iced it with two more at the line.

A week ago, Bloom let a game slip away against Lockport because the Blazing Trojans could not make their free throws. In that final quarter, Bloom hit 3-of-11 and just one in their final eight tries.

"Today's game was a similar situation, but we hit 10-of-12 in the line," BT coach Ashlaw said. "We showed some growth. Now, we have to work on maintaining and building on our early leads."

Grabbing the lead was no problem for the Blazing Trojans as they jumped to a 22-8 first-quarter advantage. Jackson (14 points) tallied eight points in the opening minutes, while Coleman (16 points, 7 boards) added seven points in the initial stanza.

The Steelmen cut the lead to 34-25 at the half and trailed 47-43 after three. Joliet then used a 12-2 run at the onset of the fourth quarter for its 55-49 lead.

Then Bloom displayed its comeback skills.

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