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Bloom's Zerrell Jackson (1) takes the ball down court against Crete-Monee during their McDipper semifinal game in Richton Park Friday, December 28, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
It’s not exactly the most original nickname in the world, but it works for Bloom senior guard Dejahown Freeman.
“Sometimes my teammates call me the ‘Hot Hand’ ’’ Freeman said. “Whenever I get a good look, I jack it up.”
His hand was on fire Friday night as he nailed five three-pointers and had five points and a steal in the final 2:25 to help lead a key 10-0 run to help give the No. 19 Blazing Trojans a 51-46 come-from-behind victory over Crete-Monee in the semifinals of the 40th McDipper Tournament in Richton Park.
While he was hot in that final run, Freeman, who scored 20 points, also hit three three-pointers in the second quarter to help give the Blazing Trojans a 16-5 advantage in the second quarter to give them a 26-14 halftime lead.
Bloom (9-2) will try to become the first team since Thornton (2004, 2005) to win back-to-back McDipper titles as they face Marian Catholic Saturday at 7 p.m. Crete-Monee (11-2) missed out on its fourth straight championship-game appearance in the tournament. Last year the Warriors dropped a 52-45 decision to Bloom in the title game.
Zerell Jackson added 13 points including four in the final 10-0 run for Bloom.
“We survived this one,” Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. “It was a great team win. We played flat in the third quarter but played Bloom basketball in the fourth quarter.”
Crete, which scored five points in a 10:12 span in the first half, heated up in the third when sophomore Tyler Williams scored eight points after not shooting the ball in the first half to help give the Warriors a 36-35 lead after three. The Warriors took their biggest lead in the game, 46-41, with 2:25 left before giving up the final 10 points. Marvie Keith led Crete-Monee with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“This was a tough one to lose – my face is still pulsating,” Warriors coach Tom Cappel said. “But Bloom is a great team. We’ll see them again.”
The two teams battle in Southland Conference action Jan. 11 in Chicago Heights and Feb. 15 in Crete.