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Oak Park-River Forest High School varsity basketball player, Jason Gant (15) guards Proviso East player Kalin Fisher (23) during the IHSA sectional final at Schaumburg High School on Friday, March 8, 2013. | Ruthie Hauge~Sun-Times Media
Jevon Carter went to the Class 4A state tournament last season with Proviso East as a reserve, but is relishing his starting role for the Pirates this season.
Carter scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting and added three 3-pointers Friday night in the Schaumburg Sectional final. Carter combined with SMU-bound Sterling Brown's 18 points to lead the No. 4 Pirates to a 67-48 victory over third-seeded Oak Park-River Forest. The win gave the defending state runner-up its first back-to-back sectional titles since 2005-06.
Carter, who averaged 9.6 points last season and scored two points in the state championship game, is looking for one more win to get Proviso East (28-3) back to Peoria. The Pirates will play No. 23 West Aurora (24-6) at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Hinsdale Central Supersectional. Proviso won its 14th sectional title in school history.
"This is really great. Last year, I was on the team and played 11 minutes (per game)," said Carter, a junior guard. "This feels good to be a part of something really big."
Carter's last basket was a highlight dunk with 28 seconds remaining in the game. His back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter ignited the Pirates and started a 19-3 run to end the first half and decided the game.
OPRF (20-10) took a 15-13 lead on Virgil Allen's layup, but would go without another basket for more than six minutes to end the second quarter. Proviso had more baskets in the second quarter (eight) than the Huskies for the entire first half (six). Proviso led 32-18 at the half.
"We thought we played well in the first quarter," OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. "We knew we had to play the perfect game. We said we can't have one bad quarter against them. The second quarter forced us to change what we do defensively."
Junior guard Erick Locke (eight rebounds), OPRF's leading scorer, finished with a game-high 21 points, but was held to five in the first half. Senior Tacourrus Mattox added 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Huskies won six of their last seven games entering the contest, but the Pirates extended their winning streak to 18 games.
"At this time of the year, I thought Oak Park did a great job competing (on consecutive days)," Pirates coach Donnie Boyce said. "What do they say in March? You have to survive and move on."