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If Bloom coach Jasper Williams had been a general contractor, his 6-foot-4 wide-bodied forward James Coleman would man the bulldozer.
Coleman, a junior, paved the way with 18 points and six rebounds as Bloom ousted Hales 68-49 Thursday in McDipper quarterfinal action.
“We knew Hales would extend their defense, so we felt very comfortable with Coleman and (Johnny) Griffin catching the ball inside and scoring,” Williams said.
The athletic Griffin added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazing Trojans (9-2). Zerrell Jackson chipped in eight points and six assists and Nhyree Mitchell netted 12.
“Coleman has a little more beef, not as athletic as Johnny, so they team up very well down low,” added Williams of his frontcourt duo.
Hales (5-7) received 12 points apiece from Tim Robertson and Shaquon Alexander.
The Spartans went on a 9-0 run spanning the first two quarters to cut Bloom’s lead 16-15 after a Darrick Gardner (six points) three-pointer. But Bloom responded with a 14-2 stretch over the final 6:05 of the second quarter to take a 30-17 lead into the break. The run was highlighted by a Jackson lob to Griffin for a dunk.
The rout was on after Bloom took a 42-33 lead midway through the third quarter on consecutive buckets assisted by Jackson.
The Blazing Trojans will attempt to become the first McDipper champion to repeat since Thornton in 2004 and 2005. Bloom meets Crete-Monee in a 7 p.m. semifinal on Friday in a rematch of last season’s McDipper final.
“Crete will be very difficult,” Williams said. “The kids wanted Crete, and now they have them.”
Eddie Miles chipped in 11 for the Spartans.