Lincoln-Way Central topples Joliet Central

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Like any jump shooter, Lincoln-Way Central’s Candace Finnin goes through hot and cold streaks.

According to the junior guard, lately it’s been nothing been cold.

With the host Knights riding a seven-game losing streak coming into Tuesday’s home game, Finnin picked a perfect time to bust out of her slump, scoring 20 points in a 56-43 win over Joliet Central in a SouthWest Suburban Blue game.

“My shot has been really on-and-off lately,” Finnin said. “It feels good to finally have a good game.”

Typically a threat from long range, Finnin scored five of her seven baskets in the lane. She also connected on 2-of-4 shots from three-point range. Kelsie Foster scored 16 points off the bench for Lincoln-Way Central (8-12, 3-6), with Autumn Schultz chipping in 10.

“We’ve been struggling a lot, and it’s a relief to finally get a ‘W’,” Finnin said.

Finnin scored 12 first-half points while Foster had 10 as the Knights took a 29-19 halftime lead despite their struggles from the field. The lead increased to as many as 19 points in the third.

“We’re trying to stick together,” Finnin said. “We’ve been pushing each other to get better and work through these struggles.”

Joliet Central (4-19, 0-9) finally got into a rhythm in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 51-43 on a Gina Ramirez inside bucket with 1:48 remaining. The Knights responded with a Foster free throw and an Ashley Newton putback off a Foster misfire at the free-throw line.

The Steelmen are adjusting on the fly after losing leading scorer Bernasia Fox to a season-ending knee injury she suffered over Christmas. Two other seniors are out for the season while a third player, freshman Chantell Mack, left Tuesday’s game.

“We’re missing that senior leadership,” Joliet Central coach Brian Reed said. “I’m proud of the girls. They hustled the whole game and did what they had to do.”

Chavon Banks, Ramirez and Myresha Peten had 10 apiece for the Steelmen.

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