ELMHURST – It may seem like a long time ago, but the last time the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic was played at York High School, in 2019, Bolingbrook emerged as the champion.
The Raiders got off to a strong start in defending their title Monday by defeating Providence Catholic, 76-51.
Defense set the tone for Bolingbrook (10-0) early, and the Raiders continued to shut down the Celtics (2-9) throughout the game. Bolingbrook’s Daniel Walker recorded a steal on each of Providence’s first two possessions, and assisted on a fast-break layup by Mekhi Cooper to open the scoring. Providence got a basket by Colin Moran to tie the game at 2, but that was the only time Providence was that close again.
Bolingbrook went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Walker (11 points) and a fast-break dunk by Jaydin Dunlap, who scored all 10 of his points in the first half. Providence managed to pull to within 11-9 after a pair of baskets by Owen Moran (14 points). Cooper gave Bolingbrook a 13-9 lead before Providence’s Sean Meeks (six points) scored on a fast break. Bolingbrook got baskets by MJ Langit and Cooper to close the quarter with a 17-11 lead.
Bolingbrook’s defense forced five Providence turnovers in the second quarter and held the Celtics to seven points. The Raiders, meanwhile, continued to keep the pressure on and score in transition, extending the lead to 35-18 at halftime.
“Usually, our defense starts things for us,” Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. “We have been practicing with five or six guys the last week or so. Today, we had three guys back for the first time in a while. It’s a different season, but it is what it is. We played pretty well on the defensive end, which is good, because our offense didn’t look good at times.”
The Raiders scored the first 10 points of the second half to take a 45-18 lead and allow Brost to substitute liberally. Michael Osei-Bonsu scored seven of his nine points in the third, and a bucket by Donaven Younger put Bolingbrook ahead, 50-24, at the mask break of the third quarter.
Providence found a bright spot in the fourth quarter, as freshman Seth Cheyney hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points.
“It’s tough for us to simulate the type of speed Bolingbrook has in practice,” Providence coach Kyle Murphy said. “We knew this would be a tough way to open the tournament, but that’s the type of competition we will see throughout the season in the Catholic League. All of this prepares us for the end of the year.
“We have long-term goals of improving and playing our best at the end of the year. We have to keep preaching to the kids that if they work hard and play hard, the results will come.”
St. Patrick 60, Minooka 49
For most of the game Monday night, the Minooka boys basketball team stayed close to Chicago St. Patrick in the opening round of the tournament.
The Shamrocks, however, pulled away in the final three minutes and turned a 49-47 lead into a 60-49 victory. The loss pushes Minooka (5-5) into the consolation bracket, where they will play at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Trevor Hudak led Minooka with 17 points, while Darren Anderson scored 11 and Adrien Manning added eight. Timaris Brown led St. Patrick with 20 points, while Brandon Adorno scored 14 and Bryant Handley added 11.
Minooka trailed 19-12 at the end of the first quarter and cut the lead to 28-22 at halftime. Minooka outscored St. Patrick, 17-10, in the third quarter to take a 39-38 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Shamrocks rallied to outscore Minooka 22-10 in the final period.
“The final score doesn’t indicate what type of game this was,” Minooka coach Kevin Cain said. “Down the stretch, they got some putbacks and some and-ones and we didn’t have anything go our way.”