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In a game that started out testy with players from Proviso East and Proviso West trying to control their enthusiasm, coolers heads eventually prevailed for what turned out to be an incident-free game on Saturday.
The first quarter featured some minor chest thumping and trash talking, but the referees took control and set the table for what both teams do best — play basketball.
The visiting Panthers were able to stay within striking distance most of the game, but couldn’t overcome an early second-quarter run by the Pirates that pushed them to a 72-61 nonconference win.
“I thought the turnaround for both teams was tough considering both played games [Friday] night,” Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce said. “I expected a tough game especially being a neighborhood rivalry game.”
Parrish McCullum had a game-high 21 points, 6-5 junior forward Sterling Brown added 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jevon Carter chipped in 18 and Branden Jenkins had 11 in a balanced attack.
The Pirates (18-3) led 19-18 after a quarter and started the second with a 6-0 run for a 27-18 lead that went up to 36-29 by the half. The Panthers (13-9) were able to pull within seven twice in the third, but found themselves down by 57-44 by the end of the quarter.
They would get no closer than eight points three times in the fourth.
“We came out a little sloppy in the first quarter but we picked it up the second,” said Brown, a SMU recruit. “It’s always great to play West — we both had the crowd behind us. Rivalry’s are always exciting.”
Lawrence Moore, who had the play of the game with a one-handed dunk in which he drove past two players, finished with a team-high 16 points to lead the Panthers. Dominick Rose added 15, including 13 in the second half.
“We came in a little flat and never could get a rhythm,” Proviso West coach Tommie Miller said. “This is a type of game the kids are going to trash talk and push each other, but that’s the way it goes — it’s all in fun.”