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Joliet Central guard Jonah Coble scored 13 points and made the game-winning free throws,as the Steelmen beat host Lincoln-Way Central 42-40 in a Southwest Suburban Blue contest Friday in New Lenox.
Coble set up his game-winning foul shots with about 10 seconds to play, when he stole the ball near mid-court and drove into the lane. Coble took a shot, but missed and was fouled. He made both shots with 8.4 seconds to play.
“I saw where [the Lincoln-Way Central player] was going to make the pass and I saw him make eye contact for the pass, so I just went in and made the steal,” Coble said. “I went for the layup and got fouled.”
Lincoln-Way Central tried a last-ditch three-pointer as time expired, but Joe Newtoff’s shot missed.
“I saw when the buzzer went off, the ball was still in his hands, so I thought they weren’t going to count it even if it did go in,” Coble said.
Playing a predominately sophomore-laden lineup, Joliet Central (5-3, 2-1) fell behind early 14-5 at the end of the first quarter. But the Steelmen managed to regroup and trailed the Knights 24-21 at the half.
Joliet Central coach Jeff Corcoran had to bring up five sophomores — Ternell Jordan, Othello French, Kenyon Woodfork, Kewon Ware and Jerry Gillespie — because eight players were benched for disciplinary reasons.
Four Joliet Central starters — Coble, Markel Ellis, Jalen Heath and Eddie McElrath — violated a team rule this week and sat out the first half. Ellis, though, sat out the entire game.
Heath returned first, at the 3:32 mark of the third quarter, followed by Coble with 2:26 remaining in the quarter. McElrath came in to start the fourth.
Lincoln-Way Central (2-5, 0-2) was led by Brad Bass with 14 points and Newtoff who scored 10 points.