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Khalil Small never got rattled. The Providence-St. Mel senior guard watched North Chicago score the first nine points. “We have dealt with adversity in other games and knew we just had to maintain our composure,” he said.
Small scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Knights stunned previously unbeaten North Chicago 78-63 in the Team Rose Shootout at the Kroc Center Sunday.
Small scored eight points in the first quarter as the Knights (6-1) utilized a 17-2 burst to reverse the Warhawks’ early 12-3 advantage for a 20-14 lead after the first quarter. Small scored back-back layups off of steals at the start of the second quarter.
St. Mel beat North Chicago at their own game. They were ferocious and disruptive and never allowed North Chicago to get settled after its early success.
“Every day in practice we do go through our run and jump defensive drills, so when they tried to trap us, we were used to it,” Small said. “We knew how to handle it.”
Most impressively the Knights survived the foul trouble of star guard Tevin King (eight points), who picked up his third foul late in the second quarter. Senior Teadric Anderson stepped into the void. He scored on driving layups at the end of the first and second quarters as St. Mel enjoyed a 36-28 lead at the break.
“Coach [Tim] Ervin told me to be aggressive and drive toward the basket,” said Anderson, who finished with 15 points. Forward Donald Morgan scored on a three-point play that keyed a 7-2 run to start the third quarter that extended the Knights’ margin to 43-30.
Sophomore guard Anthony Mosely Jr. also scored 15 points for the Knights.
North Chicago (7-1) never got closer than 10 points the rest of the game. “Not to take anything away from St. Mel, because they wanted it more, fought harder and played like they expected to win, but that [North Chicago] team out there today, I didn’t recognize them,” North Chicago coach Gerald Coleman said.
JaVairius Amos-Mays scored 19 points, though he shot just 3-of-12 on three-point attempts. JayQuan McCloud contributed 14 points and Kurt Hall added 12 points.