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Plainfield South guard James Hill is fouled while rebounding a ball in a game with Plainfield Central. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Plainfield South point guard Mike Valentine did what he was told to do in the second half Friday night against Plainfield Central.
“Coach [Tim Boe] told us to speed it up, speed the game up,’’ Valentine said. “We slowed down the game the first half. Second half we had to speed it up.’’
Plainfield South scored 23 points in the third quarter after getting 19 points in the first half, and the Cougars held off a fourth-quarter Central rally to earn a 57-46 Southwest Prairie Conference win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
“It’s a rivalry game,’’ Boe said. “We’re still trying to get a feel for the conference. I had no idea what kind of game it was going to be. Our kids came out with energy in the first half. That was the difference early.’’
Center Miles Snowden led Plainfield South (2-5, 1-1) with 13 points and eight rebounds. Valentine had 10 points, including six free throws in the fourth quarter to help secure the win.
Guards Alonzo Garrett and Daylon Edwards each had nine points and Corey Evers contributed eight points and six rebounds.
“We’ve got the athletes to get up and down the floor,’’ Boe said.
Central (3-4, 1-1) slowed South down with a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, cutting the Cougars’ lead to 42-39 with 5 minutes, 30 seconds to play. But a jumper by Garrett and a 3-point play by Snowden put South ahead 47-39 midway through the quarter.
“We let them control the game,’’ Central coach Steve Lamberti said. “At the start, we kind of let that happen. Another night when you get behind early, and it’s just tough to come back.’’
Curtis Harrington led Central with 11 points and Mitch Young and Logan Velasquez each had nine points.
“It’s a long game, but possessions in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter matter,’’ Lamberti said. “We never want to put ourself in a situation where we’re having to make a big run just to get back in the game.’’