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The seconds wound down and his players engulfed him.
Legendary St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore earned another milestone as senior 6-7 forward A.J. Patty scored 29 points and ripped down 10 rebounds in the Chargers’ 79-64 victory over the host Panthers in a sixth-place bracket of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament Friday night in Hillside.
“We needed this game to get our season on track,” Pingatore said. “I was a little nervous about this game because this is a neighborhood game, and you never know how the kids are going to play.”
Patty shot 8-for-11 from the field and converted 13-of-16 free throws. He added four blocked shots. He paced four double-figure scorers as 6-7 junior Karriem Simmons contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Guard Jordan Ash added 11 points and sophomore guard Glynn Watson scored 10 points for the Chargers (8-5).
In his 42nd year as head coach of the Chargers, Pingatore has compiled a mark of 900-312. Marshall girls’ coach Dorothy Gaters is the only other coach with more than 900 career victories in Illinois.
“I hope this game gets us going on the right track,” Pinatore said. “I told the kids, ‘Every team I’ve had has been noted for something. Some
for their defense, some for the way they play.’ So far, this team hasn’t been noted for anything.
“I hope this is the right first step.”
Joshua Thompson and Lawrence Moore scored 16 points apiece for the Panthers (7-6).
St. Joseph advances to meet St. Charles East in a sixth-place semifinal bracket Saturday.