By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
The Kenwood boys basketball team fell to 8-5 on the season after a 75-70 road loss to Simeon on Tuesday night.
“(We needed to play with) more energy and more toughness,” said Marlo Finner, head coach of Kenwood Academy. “We weren’t competing early on. We dug a hole for ourselves (in the first half). We had to figure out (in) the second half (how) to fight back.”
The Broncos got off to a sluggish start due to the Wolverines’ defensive pressure and up-tempo offense in the first three minutes of the game. The Broncos’ bright spot was Artese Stapleton who scored 15 points in the first half.
The Wolverines offense was led by the hot shooting of former Kenwood transfer and three-point specialist Antonio Reeves. Reeves exploded for 19 first half points on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc. Reeves said prior to the game, he was looking forward to the match-up.
“It was very important (to get the win).” said Reeves after scoring a game high 29 points. “That’s my old shool. I’m gone to compete with them and they are going to compete with us.”
Simeon led 52-36 at the half.
As a freshman, Reeves had contributed significantly during the Broncos 2016 Final Four basketball team before the Broncos lost to Simeon 54-49 in the championship game.
As Reeves continued his hot shooting from the field in the second half, Stapleton matched him basket for basket down the stretch, including two free throws that trimmed a 16-point lead to 6 with 53 seconds remaining in regulation.
A huge dunk by senior Seryee Lewis and a clutch free throw by guard Talvin Wooten trimmed the Wolverines’ lead to 73-70 with 13.7 seconds remaining in the game.
The Broncos fouled Wolverine guard Kajuan Clements on the ensuing possession, forcing him to shoot free throws in a one-and-one situation. Clements missed his first free throw, and the Broncos rebounded the ball and called a timeout with 6.4 seconds remaining in regulation. And on an out of bounds play, Stapleton’s three-point shot came up short.
After the miss, the Broncos were forced to foul the Wolverines sending them into the penalty with .3 seconds remaining in the game. The Wolverines drained two free throws to close out the game at 75-70.
The Hyde Park Herald Players of The Game
Artese Stapleton, Kenwood, 27 points
Antonio Reeves, Simeon, 29 points