By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
The Kenwood Lady Broncos improved to 4-0 on the season with a 64-39 victory over St. Ignatius College Prep on Wednesday, March 3, at home.
Junior star Brianna McDaniel scored the 1,000th point of her high school career on two clutch free throws with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter. McDaniel finished with 18 points in the contest.
“It feels great just being able to assist my team,” said McDaniel about reaching her career milestone. “Coach told me to get everybody involved early on and to score my points within the flow of the game.”
Coach Andre Lewis said prior to the game that he wanted his team to play disciplined basketball, dictate tempo, and impose their will on a very good opponent. During Wednesday’s match-up, the Lady Broncos accomplished all three feats.
“I’m very proud [of Brianna],” said Lewis, head coach of the Kenwood Lady Broncos. “Bri works tremendously hard on her game. Her passion for the game is very rare to have for a young lady these days. It’s very rewarding to see her accomplish one of her goals.”
According to Lewis, Wednesday night’s accomplishment by McDaniel was one of many milestones she has reached throughout her star-studded IHSA career. McDaniel accomplished this feat with only 2 1/2 years of high school experience.
In addition to McDaniel’s big game, junior guard Whitney Dunn added to the scoring. Dunn led all scorers with 19 points and five three-pointers from the field. Dunn, who is also known as McDaniel’s backcourt scoring mate, outscored the Wolfpack’s offense 19-15 in the first half.
The Lady Broncos led St. Ignatius 42-15 at half time, thanks to non-stop pressure defense.
“We believe in pressure defense. We believe in being able to guard. Actually, one of the things that makes Bri [anna] McDaniel and Whitney Dunn special is that as well as they score the ball they are also really good defenders,” Lewis said.
Lewis said when it comes to scoring and playing defense, both McDaniel and Dunn love to feed off each other. And when the 1-2 scoring punch sets the tempo on both ends of the floor, the team follows.
The Lady Broncos offense outscored St. Ignatius defense 53-29 over three quarters of play.
Final Score: Kenwood 64, St. Ignatius 39.
With the win, the Lady Broncos are ranked 3rd in the city in the IHSA top 25 polls.
New Players on Campus:
Since the start of the 2021 season, the Lady Broncos have added freshman Ariana Williams, 6’1″ sophomore Ayanna Jackson, and 5’9″ senior guard Jada Smith from Peoria, Illinois to their roster.
The team’s starting five for Wednesday night’s game were senior Jada Maxwell, juniors Brianna McDaniel, Whitney Dunn and Don Yeil Bolton. Sophomore Ayanna Jackson also started.
Chicago Crusader Players of the Game:
Brianna McDaniel, Kenwood, scored her 1,000th point of her IHSA career with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter. McDaniel entered Wednesday’s game only six points away from one thousand points. She finished second in scoring with 18 points.
Whitney Dunn, Kenwood, led all scorers with 19 points.