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Proviso East up to task against Warren

2/21/2012
Scott Powers for ESPNChicago.com

HILLSIDE, Ill. -- Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce would have taken blowouts over Downers Grove South and Warren this week, but he was hopeful for two close games.

Having been on Proviso East’s 1991 championship team, a team which suffered one loss in 33 games, Boyce understands what it takes to win it all, and that includes the occasional test.

After pulling out a three-point win over Downers Grove South on Friday, the No. 2 Pirates persevered again in a tight contest Saturday, defeating No. 4 Warren 73-66 in the City-Suburban Showdown at Proviso West High School.

“These are the games I live for,” said Boyce, whose team improved to 24-0 on the season. “These are the type of games you find out what kind of character you have, what kind of team you have. You’re going to have to face some adversity throughout the state tournament.”

Proviso East did look like it was going to run away with Saturday’s game early on. The Pirates’ pesky and speedy guards brought havoc onto Warren as it tried to get the ball up court. Proviso East forced the Blue Devils into six turnovers and raced out to a 23-12 advantage after one quarter.

Proviso East guards Keith Carter, Paris Lee and Paris Burns led the initial charge. They combined for 14 points and four steals in the first quarter.

“This is a big weekend,” Carter said. “This is the weekend coach Donnie Boyce was looking forward to. This is a big statement for us. We just wanted to show him we were ready.”

Warren wasn’t going down without a fight, though. After trailing 43-29 at halftime, the Blue Devils began making a push midway through the quarter and continued it the rest of the game.

Warren pulled within 54-51 with 6:10 left in the game on a Darius Paul putback, but it was as close as the Blue Devils would get.

“We had a bunch of early turnovers,” said Warren coach Chuck Ramsey, whose team fell to 21-3. “They turned them into points. We got behind. We made several runs, but it wasn’t good enough.”

Carter led the way for Proviso East with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Burns also had 17 points, and subs Michael Nicholas (10 points) and Branden Jenkins (eight points) contributed for the Pirates.

Paul (19 points, 13 rebounds), Mitch Munda (10 points), JoVaughn Gaines (13 points) and Jon Geske (13 points, eight rebounds) contributed for Warren.

No. 18 New Trier 59, No. 11 St. Rita 41: New Trier outscored St. Rita 26-10 in the second and third quarters combined and won the early game of the City-Suburban Showdown.

Connor Boehm (16 points, 11 rebounds), Steven Cook (10 points, eight rebounds) and David Bragiel (10 points) contributed for New Trier (20-5).

St. Rita’s Dominique Matthews scored a team-high 12 points. New Trier held St. Rita’s Tony Hicks to six points on 2-of-12 shooting. The Mustangs dropped to 14-10 overall.