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Proviso East's Branden Jenkins dunks the ball against Downers Grove South in the second quarter of their game Saturday, Janu
It’s easy to overlook Paris Lee and what he does for No. 6 Proviso East. The diminutive point guard was the only starter for the Pirates not to score in double figures against West Suburban Gold foe Downers Grove South on Saturday.
That doesn’t mean that Lee is overlooked by his coaches or his teammates. Lee keyed an early run that the Mustangs could not overcome in an 80-55 victory in Downers Grove.
“Paris is the engine to our team. He is the floor general and everything runs through him,’’ Proviso East assistant coach Cedric McCullough said. “He doesn’t care about scoring. He knows it’s his job to get everyone else involved.’’
McCullough was filling in for Donnie Boyce who has come down with the flu. But it was Lee who was making the home crowd sick early on. During an opening 21-2 Proviso run, he tallied five assists and had two steals that led to other baskets.
“I just try to get my team involved,’’ Lee said. “If there is a shot for me in the flow, I will take it but that’s not my main role.”
Lee and his teammates seemed to take a collective breath after that opening run because Downers (9-7, 4-2) fought its way back into the game. The Mustangs responded with a 19-5 run of its own to narrow Proviso’s lead to 26-21 late in the second quarter.
Scott McNellis and Jordan Cannon both scored during that run and both finished with a team-high 11 points.
“We started gambling a little too much on our press,’’ McCullough said. “That allowed them to get the ball to their bigs.’’
Branden Jenkins put a halt to that run with a three point play. Jenkins scored eight consecutive points for the Pirates (13-3, 5-0) that helped ward off the Mustangs during that spell. The senior guard finished with 16 points.
Sterling Brown racked up 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jevon Carter scored 14 and Parish McCullum added 12 for Proviso East.