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Attack, attack, attack.
The plan was simple for Providence-St. Mel as they squared off with Foreman in the 12th annual MLK Dream Classic at Young on Saturday night.
The aggressive play on offense paid off for the Knights as they made 24 free throws — all in the first three quarters — in a 73-47 drubbing of the Hornets.
“We watched film and we saw that if we attacked we could get into the bonus,” said Khalil Small who had a game-high 21 points for St. Mel. “We continued to attack all game.”
The Knights (14-4) raced out to a 9-0 lead with seven of those points coming from Small, a 6-2 senior guard.
St. Mel led 21-12 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating three that kissed the glass by Tevin King (nine points).
The Knights continued to dictate the pace of the game as they won each quarter. They led 37-25 at halftime and 52-33 after three. For the game, they attempted 35 free throws.
“The key was our defense,” added St. Mel’s Bernard Lilly Jr., who chipped in 13 points for his team. “We take great pride in our defense and our defense turns into offense.”
The Knights were also happy to notch a win against a Public League squad, especially one that is 7-0 in the Red North.
“I think it was a good test to play a CPS team,” Small said. “Last year we struggled with Public League teams. Tonight we jumped a few passes and we ran our offense off our defense.”
Not much went right for Foreman (13-3) as the Hornets were 16-for-49 from the floor and could never dig out of the early hole they got into.
Karon Linton led Foreman with 12 points while Lonell Williams added 10.
“I think the reason we lost was that we weren’t focused,” Linton said. “We were kind of laid back. We shouldn’t have started the game so slow and then we didn’t take care of the ball.”