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Jurges, Shermules power Providence win

02/11/2013, 9:33pm CST
By Tim O'Brien

Playing with backcourt mate Alyssa Jurges the past two years, Providence’s Alex Shermulis can appreciate what the sophomore goes through in her second year on the varsity.

A three-year varsity player herself, Shermulis knows the lumps an underclassman can take at the varsity level.

“We’ve just clicked really well since she was a freshman,” Shermulis said. “She’s a good player, so I try to make her feel as comfortable as I can. She should be playing and taking those shots.”

Opening the 3A playoffs Monday night in a Coal City Regional quarterfinal, Shermulis (8 assists, 3 steals) and Jurges scored 15 points apiece in Providence’s 51-33 win over Morris.

The Celtics (14-17) will play Joliet Catholic in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“The girls have welcomed me in like family, so it was an easy transition,” Jurges said. “I feel older because I have that experience with them.”

Shermulis carried the load in the first half, scoring or assisting on 12 of Providence’s 14 baskets. The Celtics’ 12-0 run to start the second quarter gave them a 29-13 lead.

“I was just trying to prepare for (Tuesday),” Shermulis said. “I tried to find people whenever they were open because that’s what we’ll have to do (Tuesday).”

A scrappy Morris team cut the deficit to six points early in the third period on a Jessica Ponce layup, but Jurges in response engineered a run of her own. The sophomore scored on a back cut on a pass from Shermulis, hit a pull-up jumper on a fast break and drilled a three-pointer from the wing as part of a 9-0 Celtics run.

“You’ve got to keep shooting even when you’re missing,” Jurges said. “Hopefully, they’ll fall, and they did (Monday).”

Morris (6-21) scored seven second-half points, finishing 11-of-33 from the field with 23 turnovers.

“We just couldn’t finish,” Morris coach Luke Windy said. “We missed five or six wide-open layups in the second half. The girls played hard even when we were down 16 in the first half.”

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