Perry Cowan’s sparkling efficiency leads DePaul Prep past Providence-St. Mel

DePaul Prep's Perry Cowan Jr. (11) drives straight to the basket. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
DePaul Prep's Perry Cowan Jr. (11) drives straight to the basket. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

DePaul Prep’s Perry Cowan is tremendously confident this season. It’s clear to see in every move he makes on the court and the smooth, deadly jump shot he regularly drains.

Cowan, a four-year starter, is a senior now and he’s developed into perhaps the area’s most efficient offensive force. He scored 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting in No. 16 DePaul Prep’s 73-53 win against visiting No. 18 Providence-St. Mel on Friday.

“At this point I do have extreme confidence in my shot,” Cowan said. “That’s a lot of hard work, a lot of reps in the gym. The coaches have taught me to slow down. I’m a senior and I’ve learned to be patient and let the game come to me.”

Most talented players want to score 40 points a game and enjoy the buzz that creates on Twitter. Cowan is a different type of player. After the game Rams coach Tom Kleinschmidt regretted not getting Cowan, a Brown recruit, more shots.

“He’s the most unselfish, smart kid,” Kleinschmidt said. “He could have went to Loyola or Drake or something but he made a 40-year decision. He’s talking about internships on Wall Street. I don’t know what Wall Street was until I was out of DePaul.”

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Cowan is a Player of the Year contender. DePaul Prep knew what it had in him heading into the season, but his teammates have taken a major step forward.

Pavle Pantovic, a 6-6 senior, had 14 points and 12 rebounds. He dominated in the post.

“Pavle developed,” Kleinschmidt said. “We thought we were going to get this from Pavle last year and we did not. He’s been playing great.”

Sophomore Tyler Johnson add 14 points and five rebounds for the Rams (5-0). Senior. Lance Mosley added seven.

“[Johnson] changed his body, he was a little guy last year,” Kleinschmidt said. “He’s going to be a player for us. He’s tough.”

DePaul Prep led by eight at halftime and dominated the third quarter defensively, holding the Knights (2-2) to just five points.

“We have good chemistry and if we guard like that every time we will win a lot of games,” Cowan said. “We had a slow start today but then we came out and played.”

Deion Jackson led Providence-St. Mel with 13 points. Eric Jordan and Jason Mason each added 11. The Knights have an excellent chance to advance to Peoria in Class 1A. DePaul Prep is also thinking about Peoria. But not quite as much as last season, despite having a better team.

“We talked about it too much last year,” Kleinschmidt said. “That hurt us. We got caught up in it too much.”

The Rams lost to North Chicago in the Class 3A sectional finals.

“Last year left a sour taste in our mouth,” Pantovic said. “We are out for blood and want to win every game by the most we can. We play with a chip on our shoulder always, no matter who we are stepping out against.”

Cowan, the humble/selfless guy on the court, is razor sharp about his intentions this season.

“We expect to win the league and then win state,” Cowan said. “We will take it one game at a time but that is the goal, conference and a state title.”

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