The Crusader Newspaper Group

Kenwood advance to next round of IHSA State playoffs with a 85-80 victory over rivals Hyde Park

By Joseph Phillips
Sports Editor


Thanks to a game high 33 points by senior guard Roland McCoy, the Kenwood Broncos defeated the Hyde Park Thunderbirds 85-80 in OT to advance to the next round of the 2020 IHSA State Playoffs on Wednesday, March 4.

1A6A7865The Broncos victory on Wednesday night not only helped them advance to the next round of the IHSA state playoffs, but returned two very valuable possessions that belonged to them: 1.”The Gold Dog Chain” and 2.”The Hyde Park Neighborhood Bragging Rights after two season’s.”

“It’s about my legacy,” said McCoy, after leading his team to a playoff victory and returning neighborhood bragging rights back to Kenwood. “It feels good to lead my team in the right direction.”

Kenwood’s Athletic Director Les Gill, Broncos head coach Justin Bowen, and principal Karen Calloway poses with the “Gold Dog Chain” in the Broncos 85-80 victory over Hyde Park, on Wednesday, March 4.

The last time both team’s met back in January, the Thunderbirds prevailed 71-61 over the Broncos on their home floor. But Wednesday night’s game would be different, as the Broncos offense would produce better results.

In the first half, McCoy exploded for 15 points and helped the Broncos overcome a slow first quarter start and build a 37-31 half time lead. McCoy’s teammate, William Bishop-Green added 7 points to the Broncos scoring column, after star forward Darnell King picked up two early fouls prior to half time.

The two early foul’s by King, limited his offensive production throughout the game.

After building a 63-49 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Thunderbirds went on a 20-7 run. The run was ignited by guard Jalen Houston, who exploded for 18 of his 29 points in the second half.

Hyde Park’s Jalen Houston finished with 29 points in the Thunderbirds 85-80 loss to Kenwood on Wednesday March, 4.

Houston would score eight points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth.

In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, the Thunderbirds continued to score baskets down the stretch. This included erasing a 14 point lead by the Broncos.

And in typical rival fashion, the Thunderbirds completed their inspirational fourth quarter comeback with a clutch lay-up by senior guard Maurice Clay.

Clay’s lay-up tied the game at 75 all with 6.2 seconds left to play in the quarter.

Clay’s lay up helped send the game into overtime as time expire. He finished second in team scoring with 16 points.

Kenwood’s Roland McCoy scored 33 points and posed with the “Gold Dog Chain” after the Broncos 85-80 victory over Hyde Park, on Wednesday, March 4. McCoy was named the Chicago Crusader Player of The Game.

With both team’s entering OT in foul trouble, the Broncos were able to take advantage
from the charity stripe, with four clutch free-throws by senior guard Roland McCoy. McCoy’s free-throws help seal the 85-80 victory for the Broncos and earn neighborhood bragging rights in Hyde Park.

The Broncos outscored the Thunderbirds 10-5 in OT, and would receive a huge scoring contribution from senior Tremaine Gardner. Gardner finished second in team scoring with 18 points.

With the victory, the Broncos will advance to the next round of the IHSA State Playoffs and host the Hinsdale South High School Hornets on Friday, March 6.

Game time 7 p.m. at Kenwood Gymnasium.

Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:

Roland McCoy, Kenwood, game high 33 points.

The Broncos basketball team for earning neighborhood bragging rights in the “Battle of Hyde Park” and will dawn the ‘Gold Dog Chain” for a year.

It was a packed house at Kenwood Gymnasium as fans cheered both team’s in “The Battle of Hyde Park.”1A6A7976

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