Steve Tucker's live blog from the Big Dipper...
It's Friday night live. and the gym at Rich South is packed
Down 11 after three quarters, Pierre Jones caught fire and led Rich South back into the game
Jones, who finished with 19 nailed a three-pointer cut the deficit to 54-53
But the Nelson brothers answered. Aaron Nelson made two free throws with 2:11 to play. Jawan Nelson followed with a three-point play with 1:40 to go.
Bloom won 68-62
Jamal Daniel scored 21, Jawan Nelson scored 17, Aaron Nelson 14 and Brian Conway 11 for the 11-4 Blazing Trojans.
Carlton Guyton scored 13 and Crandall Head 10 for Rich SOuth
Crandall Head got on the board with 1:08 to play in the third quarter, with a basket but Bloom was up 42-31 as the teams go to the fourth quarter.
Head, who has been a scoring machine for Rich South didn't take a shot until there was 3:43 to play in the third quarter
Head was pretty much absent in the first half. The Rich South sophomore star sat for 10:57 of the first half.
Head picked up two fouls in 90 seconds and went to the bench with 6:13 to play in the first quarter. When Head returned in the second quarter, he picked up his third with 4:44 to go in the half and returned to the bench.
As the third quarter starts, he hasn't taken a shot.
Bloom led 24-15 after eight consecutive points by the Blazing Trojans' Jamal Daniel.
But Rich South fought back and cut it 24-21 at the half.
Bloom's Jawan Nelson scored eight in the first six minutes, but picked up his second foul with a minute to go in the first quarter and played sparingly the remainder of the half.
Hales punched a ticket to the Big Dipper final with a 69-51 victory over 2006 champion Lincoln Park, the only Chicago Public League team to ever win the tournament, now in its 35th year.
Matt Humphrey scored 21, DJ Cooper 19 and Josh Crittle 14 for the Spartans, who with North Lawndale look like the class of Class 2A
Brandon Ross scored 18 and Jeremy Montgomery 31 for the Lions
Now its time for Bloom and Rich South, whose 6-4 sophomore forward Crandall head is the talk of the town, make that the talk of the state
More than one or two observers think that the brother of former Manley and Illinois star Luther Head, now with the Houston Rockets, is the best player in the state.
Illinois coach Bruce Weber was on hand Thursday night to watch the young star.
A basket by Josh Crittle with 4:04 to play ignited a 16-2 run for Hales in the first semifinal Friday at Rich South.
An intentional foul gave Matt Humphrey two free throws and then DJ Cooper hit a pair. After another Crittle basket, Lincoln Park scored with 1:47 to go on a basket by Jeremy Montgomery
But back-to-back triples by Cooper and Humphrey and a basket by Phillip Williams with eight second to go made it 55-41 Hales after three.
Neither team scored in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter.
A great first half of basketball saw Hales jump ahead 10-2 but Lincoln Park clawed its way back and took its first lead on a three-pointer by Charles Outlaw with 4:53 to play in the half.
Hales went up on a step-back triple from Matt Huphrey but twi free throws by Jeremy Montogomery with three second to play knotted the scored at 35.
Lincoln Park got 13 points from Brondon Ross and seven eacy from Montgomery and Cortney Bell
Humphrey has 11 and Josh Crittle nine for Hales
Thornton 59, Marian Catholic 53
The Wildcats rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to win as freshman Jay Park led four players in double figures with 17 points. Marcus Franklin scored 13 and Jamal Gray and Trevell Rivers each had 10. Marian's 6-9 Dennis Kelly, who is headed to Purdue to play football, scored 21.
A dramatic third-quarter turnaround saw Thornton rally from a 33-18 halftime deficit against Marian Catholic to go up 44-38. Eight points from freshman Jay Parker, the younger brother of Josh Parker helped fuel the turnaround.
So far, Thornton sophomore Reggie Smith, who was banged up some on Thursday has not played.
Earlier, Rich Central took control in the second quarter and never looked back in a 71-63 victory over Crete-Monee in the first game of the fifth-place bracket. Derrius Walker scored 15 and Kendall Geanes 10 for the Olympians. Willie Wilkins scored 17 for coach Rocky Hill's Warriors who are playing without two of its best players, ne is sidelined for academic reasons, the other for personal issues.
Rich Central freshman James Cockett, a 6-4 wing made an impression with his Joakim Noah hairdo.
In consolation games,
Harlan 71, Noble Street 37
Hubbard 64, Fenger 58
Leo 70, Seton 61
Shepard 67, Rich East 65