The Kenwood Academy boys basketball team won its third-round city playoff game Tuesday night, Feb. 7, narrowly beating Wendell Phillips Academy with a score of 71-68.
Senior guard Darrin "Dai Dai" Ames is feeling good about the Broncos’ playoff success, but said the no. 4-ranked IHSA Class 4A team isn’t taking any opponent lightly.
“Everybody is competition,” said Ames. “We can’t downgrade nobody.”
Riding a six-game winning streak and on the eve of the Chicago Public League semifinals, the Broncos have successfully rebounded from a perilous three-game skid, which began on Jan. 19 with a 54-51 loss to longtime neighborhood rival Hyde Park Academy.
"That was a test," said Mike Irvin, Broncos head coach, of the rough patch. "I wanted to prepare them mentally on what’s going to come."
The Broncos recovered by the first CPL playoff game on Feb. 1, starting the tournament with a convincing 112-33 win over the Corliss High School Trojans. Kenwood knocked out Lane Tech High School 76-44 in the second round of playoffs two days later.
Ames did not disappoint the full house in attendance at that game, scoring 27 points, four assists and five steals.
A Kansas State University signee, Ames said that in addition to improving their technical skills, players’ are making sure to uplift each other.
Looking ahead to Thursday’s semifinal game, Kenwood will face off against Perspectives-Leadership, which defeated Hyde Park Academy 61-59 last night.
Though Kenwood is favored to win the matchup, for Irvin, it’s important that his team doesn’t get ahead of itself.
"We treat every team the same," Irvin said. "Whoever's in our way, we're going to run them over. We're going to play hard for 32 minutes of tough basketball."
The final four matchup against Perspectives-Leadership will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9 at Credit Union 1 Arena, 525 S. Racine Ave. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.
I watched the City Boys HS basketball championship between Kenwood and Simeon - tremendous game. Our Kenwood came back from a large deficit to tie the game and send the game to overtime, where unfortunately we lost.
I was very impressed with the great team play, fundamentals and good sportsmanship on both sides.
So often we only see and hear negative things about Chicago teen agers, this was all positive.
Great, great play, coaching and fan support for our Kenwood Broncos
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