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Christian Shumate’s triple-double leads Bloom to Chicago Heights Classic title

The senior transfer from Plainfield East had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks and the Blazing Trojans beat host Marian Catholic 77-60.

Bloom’s Christian Shumate blocks a shot against Marian Catholic.
Bloom’s Christian Shumate blocks a shot against Marian Catholic.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Christian Shumate is not an unknown. He shattered a backboard with a dunk last season at the Pekin Holiday Tournament when he played for Plainfield East and earned rave reviews on the spring and summer basketball circuit.

The 6-6 senior transferred to Bloom over the summer and seemingly became the perfect new addition. The Blazing Trojans have four Division I seniors, but lacked toughness and rebounding.

That’s exactly what Shumate provided top-ranked Bloom on Friday in the sold-out championship game of the Chicago Heights Classic. His triple-double of 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks led the Blazing Trojans past host Marian Catholic 77-60.

“I always knew what I was capable of I just needed the right platform and the right stage,” Shumate said. “I’ve been dreaming this for a long time.”

Bloom trailed the No. 6 Spartans 49-48 after three quarters. Marian Catholic turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the fourth quarter. Shumate cashed both errors in for buckets and the Blazing Trojans never looked back.

“He’s a beast,” Bloom coach Dante Maddox Sr. said. “The best part of him is he brings the beast out in my other guys. They are nice by nature. You can see them playing with emotion and that is really going to help us.”

Bloom (4-0) scored 29 points in the fourth quarter, Shumate had 13.

“We needed someone like that, it gives us a whole different dimension,” Bloom senior Dante Maddox Jr. said. “There is not another Christian Shumate in the state of Illinois, no one who can dominate the game like he just did. It just takes the pressure off a lot of our shoulders.”

Maddox Jr. finished with 14 points and six rebounds and Keshawn Williams added 15 points and four rebounds. Donovan Newby had 12 points and seven rebounds.

Ahron Ulis scored 19 points for Marian Catholic, which shot 6-for-12 from three in the first half.

“I wasn’t happy with our defensive energy the first half,” Maddox Sr. said. “We knew Ulis was going to create for everybody. We didn’t put a lot of pressure on him. He dictated the first half pretty much. After halftime we made sure we played better defense.”

Yemi Elutilo had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans (3-1) and Joe Green added 10 points and four rebounds. Marian Catholic matched Bloom blow for blow for three quarters, flashing impressive composure against the area’s top-ranked team.

“We showed some things and learned some good lessons,” Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor said. “There are things we are going to have to do, defensively especially, to be able to play against them. We will figure that out. You have to guard five guys on their team and it is tough.”