Boys Basketball: Joliet West edges Joliet Central on weird nightJoliet West's #20 Marlon Johnson drives to the basket in front of Joliet Central's defence held at home on Friday, February 10, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 10, 2012 10:53PM
It would have been completely out of season, but this one belonged on Halloween.
The tricks ran rampant Friday night as Joliet West outscored SouthWest Suburban Blue and in-district foe Joliet Central 15-8 in the final five minutes to break away from a 48-all tie en route to a 63-56 victory at the West field house.
Well, sort of.
The game was delayed for 30 minutes because of a roof leak caused by condensation dripping from the field house ceiling. When it was determined the leak was not going to stop, the game was moved to the gym. Play, choppy as it was, resumed there at 9:38 p.m. with 1:56 on the game clock.
The evening began with West’s 41-39 overtime victory in the sophomore game. Then in warmups, West received a technical foul because 6-foot-9 Marlon Johnson dunked. He would finish with 16 points and 15 rebounds. But with 31 seconds left, he received a technical when he reacted to being hacked.
“I don’t know. That’s what we’re trying to determine,” West coach Luke Yaklich said when asked if the pregame technical was a team or personal violation. If Johnson goes in the books as having two technicals, he will be ineligible for Tuesday’s game against Oswego.
West (15-7, 8-3) could not shake the pesky Steelmen (7-14, 2-9), who recovered from an error-filled first five minutes and Carl Terrell’s 55-footer at the first-quarter buzzer to make it a nip-and-tuck affair for 3 1/2 quarters.
“We came in with a plan,” Steelmen coach Jeff Corcoran said. “We changed tempo and gave them some different looks. We showed we can play with these guys, and they’re a great team.”
“Jeff had his team prepared,” Yaklich said. “They had a game plan, executed it and they played really hard. I’m just proud of how we finished, our spurt there in the fourth quarter to seize the momentum.”
If not for the play of West’s 5-11 junior forward Lejon Wise off the bench, who knows? He scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and set up two three-pointers with excellent feeds from the post.
“Lejon was the player of the game,” Yaklich said. “He’s been biting at the bit to get minutes. He had eight great minutes the other night against Lincoln-Way Central and earned the playing time tonight.”
Jonah Coble scored 19 points and Eddie McElrath 10 for Central. Terrell had 12 for West.