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Joliet Catholic's Keith Craig (22) is fouled by Providence's Nick Dinardi (54) during their Lincoln-Way West regional basketball game in New Lenox Wednesday, February 27, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
After Providence’s Kevin Kozan hit six three-pointers and scored 28 points in his final home game Feb. 15, coach Tim Trendel offered a prediction for the senior’s future.
“He could be a special player for somebody at Division II, low Division I,” Trendel said. “When he gets his feet set, he’s as good as anybody in the area.”
Providence’s top scorer will get at least one more game to show his talent after he teamed with Tom O’Halloran and Miles Boykin to lead the Celtics’ 60-43 victory Wednesday night over Joliet Catholic in a Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Regional semifinal.
The title game Friday will match Providence (14-13) against Plano (21-9), a 53-40 winner over Lincoln-Way West.
Kozan got to the free-throw line at the outset of the game, forced a turnover on Joliet Catholic’s first possession and generally stirred things up.
“Last chance to make it happen, I just came out with energy,” Kozan said. “The first couple of minutes started the whole game for us.”
Kozan scored seven points in the second quarter — two free throws, a jumper and a three-pointer — to help Providence extend a 15-12 first-quarter lead into a 33-20 halftime advantage.
“We kind of go as he goes,” Trendel said. “I think he’s one of the top players in the south suburbs and in our conference.”
Kozan finished with a game-high 14 points, O’Halloran had 13 and Boykin contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds. O’Halloran’s eight third-quarter points helped increase the lead to 50-33 going into the final period.
Shakar Washington led Joliet Catholic (4-26) with 13 points. Sophomore Keegan Tyrell and freshmen Harry Davis (seven points) and Jalen Jackson (six points) are a few reasons coach Joe Gura is looking forward to next season.
“I’m ready to start practice [Thursday],” Gura said, pointing to successful lower levels. “I’m very, very pleased with what we’ve got.”