Boys basketball: Providence rolls past Southland Prep

Celtics have no trouble on senior night

Providence’s Zach Ford makes a move against Southland College Prep on Monday, Feb. 5th 2024 in New Lenox.

NEW LENOX – It was easy to see why Providence Catholic coach Tim Trendel scheduled senior night for Monday, rather than Tuesday, when the Celtics host Marmion in their final home game of the season.

Southland College Prep is hardly the foe Marmion is. That allowed Trendel the luxury of starting a pair of seniors who normally come off the bench, and give them more than a token step or two on the court. They delivered, holding the Eagles scoreless for the first 6:42 and laying the foundation for a 61-43 rout in the nonconference game.

“They kept up the momentum,” Trendel said of Zach Ford and Joe Kuk, who usually don’t start but did for this game, joining usual starters Bob Jenner, Max Clarke and Colin Crean.

The victory moved the Celtics to 11-12 overall. Southland fell to 9-13.

Providence’s Colin Crean looks for a play against Southland College Prep on Monday, Feb. 5th 2024 in New Lenox.

“And with Marmion tomorrow, and fighting and clawing to get back to .500, the guys are excited about the opportunity to get back to .500. But we’ve got some work to do. Marmion played Brother Rice tough the other night.

“At least it’s at home. If we can win we can make a case for a 7-8-9 seed in the sectional.”

The seeding will be decided Wednesday morning, so the Marmion game truly is a last chance affair. It’s also Providence’s last home game.

On this night, Jenner’s 10 points led a balanced offensive effort.

“I think I played hard, the whole team played hard,” Jenner said. “We wanted to come in and bring energy. Now Marmion, that’s a big game. We want to get back to .500.”

Providence’s Seth Cheney looks for a play against Southland College Prep on Monday, Feb. 5th 2024 in New Lenox.

It was 16-0 before Gabryel Patterson (team-leading 17 points) hit a 3-pointer to get Southland on the board. It was 24-3 before the Eagles scored again. By then, Trendel had his regulars running the show, and running the Eagles out of the gym. The 30-7 halftime margin – with Southland’s five starters blanked – was about what could have been expected. The second half was more loosely played, but there was never any doubt to the outcome.

Trendel saw only one major flaw in the 32 minutes.

“We didn’t rebound real well,” Trendel said. “They had their size, but our five guys have to work and come together as a unit to rebound. A couple-three guys, we got their big guys out of there, but we didn’t clean it up, and that’s their job.”

An unofficial count had the rebounds even at 26, but the Eagles enjoyed an advantage on their glass.