Jailen Jones knew over the summer that teammate Jonah Coble would be the man.
He also knew that if he put in the work on the rest of his game, he consistently could become Joliet Central’s secondary scorer.
If Jones and Coble could bottle their performance in Wednesday’s 69-55 victory over Crete-Monee in the WJOL Thanksgiving Classic at University of St. Francis, the Steelmen will be dangerous.
Coble hit 8-of-12 shots, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, and scored 21 points to go with six rebounds and nine assists. Jones was
8-for-10 from the floor, 3-of-4 on three-pointers, scored 20 points and had three assists.
They were interchangeable parts creating offense.
“The two of us feed off each other,” Jones said. “I always know where he is on the court and he knows where I am. When one of us gets hot, the other one gets him the ball.”
The Steelmen (2-0) led 39-19 at halftime, and that’s when Jones and Coble demonstrated their leadership.
“Brian (Koehne, the Central assistant) and I were upset when we came in at halftime because we did not finish the first half well,” Central
coach Jeff Corcoran said. “Before I could finish one sentence, Jonah and Jailen stepped up and said, ‘That’s on us, coach. We’re the
guards. We’re running the program. We’ll get it back.’
“If we didn’t teach them anything else, I guess we taught them to take responsibility.”
“When things happen, when we get away from our offense, it depends on the guards to get it back,” Jones said.
Tyler Williams scored 19 points for Crete (1-1), including 17 in the third quarter.
“A couple of guys weren’t here — that’s all I want to say about that,” Warriors coach Tom Cappel said. “It probably would not have made a difference, anyway. That (Central) is a pretty advanced team.
We played a lot of juniors, and we have a lot to learn.”
Central will shoot for a pool championship against Joliet Catholic on Friday, while Crete finishes pool play against Minooka.
Providence 52, Lockport 33: Ryan Brankin scored 20 points and Tyler Pygon had 14 for Providence (2-0). The Celtics hit 9-of-16 three-pointers with Pygon 4-for-5, Brankin 3-for-5 and Troy Howat 2-for-2. JohnCampbell scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Lockport (1-1). Grover Anderson contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.
Romeoville 52, Plainfield Central 46: Romeoville (1-1) jumped to a 14-2 lead and held off Plainfield Central (0-2). Dwayne Griffin scored 15 points for the Spartans. Logan Velasquez had 19 points, 11 reboundsand four assists for the Wildcats.
Minooka 45, Joliet Catholic 19: Minooka (1-1) limited Joliet Catholic (0-2) to 17.5-percent shooting on 7-of-40. Joe Butler had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Indians. Neal Tyrell added eight points.