Budding sophomore Tyler Johnson scored 15 points, capping a strong weekend in Peoria, as DePaul Prep cruised past Peoria Manual 64-44 on Saturday in the Class 3A third-place game.
Johnson shot 6-of-9 from the floor and added five assists and two steals. Brown recruit Perry Cowan — playing his final high school game — added 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, and fellow senior Raheem Anthony recorded a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.
DePaul finished a highly successful 25-10 season on a high note after things got complicated during the past week. DePaul advanced by default through the super-sectionals, an unprecedented occurrence that coach Tom Kleinschmidt said “bothered” his team a bit, and then lost by 20 to Bogan in yesterday’s semifinals.
“We calmed down, we relaxed a little and we played DePaul basketball,” Kleinschmidt said after the win. “It starts with defense, and we guarded them very well today. We are a switching team, so when we switch we can deny you and push you out of the paint. Teams can struggle, it’s tough to get good shots.”
Rolando “Pee Wee” Brown and Quintez Edwards each scored 11 points to lead Manual (19-13), which disappointed as the de-facto hosts of the weekend at Peoria’s Carver Arena.
Coach Willie Coleman ripped his squad’s performance afterward, calling it “horrible for the city.”
“The team came out flat, like we weren’t interested in the third- and fourth-place game,” he said. “We had no fight. Defensively, it was horrible. Offensively, it was horrible. Overall, it was just bad.”
DePaul Prep out-rebounded Manual 33-22 and made six three-pointers to Manual’s three. The “visitors” led comfortably throughout, jumping out to a 13-4 advantage early and carrying a 35-18 margin into halftime.
Kleinschmidt said the third-place finish salvaged the weekend somewhat for his team.
“If you’re down here, you’re a damn good team,” he said. “There’s probably 10 teams at home who could be playing in this tournament, we understand that. We’re grateful, we earned it. Getting one means something.”