By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
In a battle for neighborhood bragging rights, the Hyde Park Thunderbirds defeated the Kenwood Broncos, 68-65, on their home floor on Thursday night.
“Every win is a big win when you’re in this conference. This is the top conference in the state,” said Reggie Bates, first year head coach of the Thunderbirds. “Although there (was) some of that neighborhood rivalry, our goal was just to get better.”
After earning Thursday night’s win over the Broncos, Bates said that his team is heading in the right direction. Bates also attributes his recent team success to 6’3″ shooting guard Jaquan Reed. Reed, a marksman from behind the three-point arc, finished with a game high 21 points against the Broncos, including five three-pointers.
“We were on a losing streak,” said Reed. “We really needed this win to come up.”
“He’s one of those guys I call Mr. Hyde Park,” coach Bates said. “And when he makes shots like that, we can be pretty good.”
Thunderbirds led 37-26 at the half.
In the second half, the Broncos made a late run of their own led by the hot shooting of junior guard Rowland McCoy, who scored 16 of his team high 18 points in the second half.
Late in the fourth quarter, McCoy was fouled in the act of shooting. He drained both clutch free throws, tying the game at 63-63 with a minute and 21 seconds remaining in the game.
The Thunderbirds then finished the game with a 5-2 run, including a free throw by Jaquan Reed with 32 seconds left. It was Reed’s only point of the second half.
“For the last two games we haven’t been competitive enough,” said Marlo Finner, head coach of the Broncos. “We’re just not competitive.”
The Hyde Park Herald Players of The Game:
Jaquan Reed, Hyde Park, 21 points.
Rowland McCoy, Kenwood, 18 points.
Seryee Lewis, Kenwood, 16 points.