Bolingbrook withstands Joliet Catholic

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Not one player on the Bolingbrook roster will be able to fill the void left by All-American Morgan Tuck.

But as a four-year varsity player, Kennedy Cattenhead certainly is ready to step up for the Raiders.

Running the offense as a point forward, the senior poured in 27 points Monday night to help Bolingbrook take down Joliet Catholic 73-60 at the Pontiac Thanksgiving Tournament.

“I watched Morgan, and I watched Ariel (Massengale), so I had really good leaders to look up to,” Cattenhead said. “I learned from them so now I have to be a leader and step up.”

Shay Robinson had 14 points and Amarah Coleman added 13 of her own for No. 10 Bolingbrook (1-0). Freshman guard Nicole Ekhomu racked up 20 points to lead a balanced attack for Joliet Catholic (0-1), with Mary Susan Rouse and Jasmine Lumpkin scoring 11 apiece.

Holding a slim two-point advantage in the third, the Raiders rattled off an 18-9 quarter-closing run, with Cattenhead ending the period with an exclamation point, scoring on a hard drive off a scoop shot inside.

Joliet Catholic cut the deficit to seven points in the fourth when Nicole Ekhomu was fouled on a three-point attempt and drilled all three free throws.

Cattenhead responded, connecting on all six of her free throws down the stretch. Bolingbrook forced 24 turnovers and was able to run consistently when the offense faltered.

“We take pride in our defense,” Cattenhead said. “That always helps us go. We might not be the best offensive team, but our defense can always get the job done.”

Looking to figure out a regular lineup after losing eight seniors who saw heavy court time last season, Bolingbrook coach Tony Smith was both pleased and displeased.

“A lot of new faces, young faces,” he said. “We made the same mistakes we make in practice, so it’s a long way to go.”

For Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof, having his team hang with a team such as Bolingbrook isn’t enough.

“We’re thrilled to play a program like Bolingbrook, but we’re not looking for moral wins,” Schodrof said. “We didn’t handle their tenacity well early and got out-toughed a bit.”

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