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The Leyden backcourt will probably have nightmares about Paris Lee and his Proviso East teammates for the next few nights.
Lee had eight steals in just over two quarters Friday night and the Pirates forced Leyden into 18 first-half turnovers while cruising to a 77-39 West Suburban Gold victory in Maywood.
“[Coach Donnie Boyce] lets us come out and play, we have to play tough and rebound,” said Pirates senior forward Branden Jenkins. “But on defense, we take that very serious, though. We get them out of the flow of their game, and then the game is ours.”
The Pirates (15-3, 7-0) had matters handled before the intermission, when a Jenkins’ basket gave Proviso East a 51-19 lead.
Jenkins finished with 10 points, while Lee added 11 and Jevon Carter led all scorers with 13 points, including 11 in the first half.
With the starters watching most of the second-half action, the Pirate bench continued to find ways to score. Sophomore Ohaaji Scott had two baskets in the fourth quarter, and his second bucket gave Proviso East a 75-30 cushion.
Leyden (12-5, 3-5) scored the game’s first basket on an Anthony Gonzalez layup, but never was able to solve Proviso East’s pressure defense.
“Basically, we just have to get better at handling pressure,” said Eagles senior guard Jayqual Jackson. “They were all over us, and we were not ready for it. It was a bad week of practice. You play like you practice, and that is how we have been practicing lately.”