By Joseph Phillips
After clinching a conference title, a regional title and advancing to the city championship game for the first time in school history, the Kenwood Academy High School Broncos boys basketball team’s season came to an end after a 59-57 buzzer beater loss to the Curie Academy High School Condors, Friday, March 11, at Riverside Brookfield High School.
“I told the guys if we want to be one of the elite teams in the city or the state, we have to get a sectional title,” said Mike Oliver, head coach of Curie Academy. “And tonight our guys came up big.”
Fans flooded the gymnasium to witness the fourth and final epic match-up between the two teams. And they wouldn’t disappoint, as both teams would play for keeps knowing that the Class 4A Sectional Title was on the line (in addition to bragging rights). In the first half, the Broncos defense would shut down the Condors’ Devin Gage, holding him to a season low three points (including a 16-0 run) while ending the half with a 25-20 lead.
“We know them, they know us,”said Oliver. “It’s the fourth time we played each other. I told them it would be a game of runs.”
In the second half, Gage responded to his coach’s challenge; exploding for 20 points, five steals and seven free throws while earning his team a four point lead at 38-34 to end the quarter. In spite of Gage’s run, Kenwood senior Nick Robinson gave the Broncos one last miracle, after scoring on a coast to coast lay up sending the game into overtime as time expired.
In overtime with six seconds left to play in the game, Gage lost control of the ball but was able to tip it to his teammate Theo Owens. While both team’s scrambled for the ball, Owens had the presence of mind to take one dribble off the floor and shoot a lay-up, watching the ball go perfectly off the glass and into the hoop as time expired.
Final Score: Curie 59, Kenwood 57
With the win, Curie evened the season series at two games apiece. Each game was decided by three or fewer points.