By Matthew Bruce
Crete-Monee guard Michael Orris could be seen clapping early in the fourth quarter Friday, trying to get his team fired up for a much-needed surge.
The rally cry propelled the Warriors to a 10-2 run but was not quite enough for them to overcome a 13-point deficit.
No. 11 Bloom outlasted No. 16 Crete-Monee for a 43-38 victory in the Southland Conference crossover at Bloom Trail.
It was a very big game, Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. The kids had a chip on their shoulder from when Crete beat us three times last year. Its a big win for these kids.
A capacity crowd of about 2,500 fans was on hand to see the rivals duel for the second time this season.
Johnny Griffin (14 points, five rebounds) made a midcourt steal and raced to the hoop for a breakaway dunk to open the second for the Blazing Trojans. That sparked a 14-2 run capped by Lejavius Johnsons three-point play midway through the period, putting Bloom up 25-10.
The Warriors responded by reeling off seven of the last nine points of the half to close the gap to 10 points at the break.
Bloom (15-2, 3-1) headed into the final period up 35-22.
Thats when Orris came alive. The 6-foot-2 senior swished a trey and converted a steal into a layup on the other end to start the Warriors run.
Marvie Keith (15 points) knocked down a pair of long-range shots in the final minute to give Crete-Monee (11-4, 3-1) a chance. His off-balance, desperation three-pointer with four seconds left cut Blooms lead to 41-38. But Johnson knocked down a pair of free throws to seal the victory for Bloom.