The Kenwood Lady Broncos were defeated in the Chicago Public League championship game on Saturday, Feb. 12, losing 57-55 against the Whitney Young Dolphins.
Although the Lady Broncos lost the city championship, they are still in contention for the state championship. Their first game takes place tonight against Curie at Kenwood Academy.
During Saturday’s game, Kenwood took off during the first quarter, finishing the period with a lead of 17-11. It would be the only lead the Lady Broncos would see, however, as Whitney Young outscored them during the rest of the game.
Coach Andre Lewis says he believes that the team lost their way by not sticking to what they practiced. “I just wish we had executed our game plan better,” he said. “I don't think that we did a good job of executing the things that we prepared to do. And so I wish we'd done a better job of doing that.”
Lewis said he felt they needed to be more active offensively, and that rebounds were a particular pain point.
“There should have been more movement of players. And it seemed like for a long stretch, we didn't do a good job of having ball movement and body movement like we always preached.”
Leading the Lady Broncos in scoring was senior guard Brianna McDaniel, who had 24 points. Lewis said he felt like McDaniel played a solid game.
“I was proud of her effort. I always think that there's room for improvement, and she knows that the level of my expectation is pretty high. I think there are some instances where she could have passed the ball but I also think that if there's more activity, and that's by everybody, then she probably doesn't need to score like that, because we can get easier shot opportunities,” he said.
Lewis said he thought the team did a solid job on defense, that they shot free throws extremely well and noted that only one of the opposing players shot over 50%. He said that they have to do a better job at defending without fouling so much.
Junior forward Jazelle Young hit her head during the game, leaving on a stretcher after the matchup. According to a fan in attendance, Young had been diagnosed with a concussion a few weeks back but was cleared to play.
Young went to the hospital after the game but was later discharged. Lewis said she is in good condition, but will be out with no current updates on when she will return.
Junior guard Jazlyn Givens, who is currently out with an ACL injury, had surgery on Feb. 1 and has already begun her first week of rehab according to Lewis. Givens suffered the injury during December’s game against Morgan Park.
Although losing the city championship was heartbreaking for the Lady Broncos, Lewis said they still have their minds set on dominating the state tournament.
The state series schedule includes two games in the regional bracket, two games in the sectional bracket and a super-sectional game. The teams who win will go downstate for the final four-team tournament.