Kenwood wins home opener but falls short at the Chicago Elite Classic

Kenwood Academy High School junior Artese Stapleton attempts a pass during its season opener game against Farragut Academy High School, Thursday night, Nov. 30, at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. The Kenwood Broncos beat the Farragut Admirals 67-41.
Spencer Bibbs

Sports Writer

In game one of the 2017-18 Chicago Public League Basketball regular season, the 18th – ranked Kenwood Academy High School Broncos defeated the Farragut Academy Admirals 67-41 in front of a packed house on, Thursday night Nov. 30, at Kenwood gymnasium, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.

In the first half, the Broncos were led by the superb play of 6’5 senior and potential All-Area candidate Nas Turner. Turner, who dominated the Admirals with clutch blocks, clutch rebounding, pressure defense and crowd-pleasing dunks, finished the half with seven points while earning his team a three-point lead at the half of 27-24.

In the second half, it was the Artese Stapleton show. The junior point guard lived up to his positive preseason hype and finished with a team high 17 points and five assists in the season opener while leading his team to a convincing victory and showing promise with limited turnovers.

Final Score: Kenwood 67, Farragut 41

With the victory, the Broncos improved to 1-0 on the regular season in their season opener.

Chicago Elite Classic

Kenwood Academy High School senior Robert McGee scores two points against Gray Collegiate Academy, Saturday, Dec. 2, in the 6th Annual Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavillion, 525 S Racine Ave.
Owen M. Lawson III

In the second game of the 2017-18 regular season, the 18th – ranked Broncos would fall short to the fourth-ranked Gray Collegiate Academy War Eagles of South Carolina 80-64 at the 6th Annual Chicago Elite Classic held at the UIC Pavillion, 525 S. Racine Ave., on Saturday night, Dec. 2.

In the first half, the Broncos would match the War Eagles’ offensive intensity. Thanks to the hot shooting of senior guard RJ McGee, who led all scorers with a game-high 25 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field. In addition to McGee’s hot shooting, he would finish 5 of 6 from behind the three-point arc for the game, in spite of his team falling behind 36-29 at the half.

In the second half, the War Eagles were led by one of ESPN’s Top 50 players Juwan Gary.

Gary led the War Eagles to victory after earning a team-high 23 points on 10-14 shooting. Gary’s leaping ability would dazzle the crowd after laying down several gut wrenching dunks, bringing scouts and players to their feet. Gary’s teammates would also add to the mix, thanks to the contribution’s of Khalil Robinson, 16 points, and seven assists, Tommy Bruner, 16 points and Michael Marsh, who’d finish with a double-double stat line of 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

Final Score: Gray Collegiate Academy 80, Kenwood 64

The Broncos fell to 1-1 on the season. The War Eagles improved to 4-0 on the season.

The Hyde Park Herald Players of The Game:

Game One: Nas Turner, Kenwood, 17 points, six rebounds; Artese Stapleton, 17 points, six assists

Game Two: RJ McGee, Kenwood, 25 points, shooting 9 of 11 from the field Juwan Gary, Gray Collegiate Academy, 23 points.