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Tina Akouris' basketball notebook

01/22/2013, 7:27pm CST
By Tina Akouris takouris@suntimes.com

Jalen Heath and and Eddie McElrath have formed a potent combo at Joliet Central, which is tied for first place in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.

Jalen Heath and Eddie McElrath are learning how to be one another’s wing man.

Normally, Heath relies on guard Jonah Coble. But because coach Jeff Corcoran had to bench Coble for disciplinary reasons during the Steelmen’s 55-51 overtime victory Friday at Bolingbrook and during Monday’s MLK Day of Hoops — it’s the second time Coble was benched for a time this season — Heath has had to look elsewhere.

Heath scored 30 points against Bolingbrook, a career-high, and McElrath went 3-of-4 from the line in the final 40 seconds of overtime to seal the win.

Heath’s career-high against Bolingbrook didn’t come easily. The 6-foot Heath was guarded and forced to work by the Raiders’ Prentiss Nixon.

“We talk about when those two are on the floor together that they get each other going,” Corcoran said. “I was concerned that Jalen would be lost without his running mate, but Eddie got him the ball.”

Heath said he felt the onus was on him to pick up the team once Coble was disciplined.

“I have to pick them up,” Heath said.

Looking up

Entering Tuesday, Joliet Central was tied for first place in the SouthWest Suburban Blue with Homewood-Flossmoor, both with 5-1 conference records.

The overtime win at Bolingbrook certainly helped the Steelmen’s cause — and confidence — in the conference race.

“We’ve been talking that anything is possible and these kids have put in the work,” Corcoran said. “To be on the top with H-F, a storied program, that’s where we want to be.”

Moore’s big feat

Bolingbrook star forward Ben Moore, an SMU recruit, bounced back from that Joliet Central loss with a stellar performance Monday.

Moore recorded just the third triple-double of his career when he totaled 20 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in the Raiders’ 75-55 victory over Plainfield North at Joliet Central’s MLK Day of Hoops.

Raiders coach Rob Brost said Moore twice accomplished the feat last season with the combination of points, rebounds and blocks.

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