ROCK FALLS, Ill. — Tevin King is the undisputed leader for Providence-St. Mel - on both ends of the floor. The senior guard has flown under the radar with most recruiters but his team knows how valuable he has been for them this season.
King scored 25 points to lead the Knights to a 54-45 victory over Winnebago in the Rock Falls shootout on Saturday afternoon.
“Tevin’s a hard-nosed kid who is the engine of our defense,’’ Knights coach Tim Ervin said. “He’s our leader. He scores when he needs to . He sets up other players and he’s underrated.’’
The Knights (11-5) played lock-down defense from the opening tip-off. They jumped out to a 23-12 halftime lead and forced 11 first half turnovers. King was the catalyst with four steals in that half and 12 points.
The second half was a different story as Winnebago (11-3) picked up its offensive game and managed to draw to within 44-38 with 5:43 remaining in the game. King cut short that run with a steal and a dunk that started an 8-2 Knights run that effectively ended the Indians chances for a comeback.
“We got the lead and I think the team relaxed a little bit,’’ King said. “We just needed to stay aggressive and we got that back.’’
King finished with eight steals and guarded Ryan Swigart, who is the Indians’ leading scorer, for much of the game. He held Swigart to 10 points.
“I studied (Swigart) a little bit before the game,’’ King said. “I just wanted to familiarize myself with his game.’’
King is listed accurately at 6-2 and has had tepid interest from colleges so far although his play would dictate that may pick up.
“Our goal is to hold team to under 50 points every game,’’ Ervin said. “We do that by playing hard-nosed defense without fouling people and make sure we contest every shot.’’