By Joseph Phillips
In spite of a 22 point effort by sophomore Brianna McDaniel, the Kenwood girls basketball team fail short of reaching their city championship goal with a 69-63 loss to rivals Simeon on Sunday afternoon at Jones Armory, 5200 S. Cottage Grove.
“We kind of got away from our game plan in terms of attacking the middle of their defense,” said Andre Lewis, head coach of the Lady Broncos about his team surrendering a 13-point lead in the second quarter. “We didn’t do a great job of rebounding the basketball (either).”
Coach Lewis said his team had several opportunities in the first half to build momentum and put the game away for good, but costly turnovers and poor rebounding by the Lady Broncos, gave the Lady Wolverines confidence and their first marginal lead of the game at 37-33 at half time.
Prior to the Lady Wolverines building their first marginal lead of the game at 37-33, sophomore Whitney Dunn got off to a hot start from the field draining multiple big shots from beyond the arc, including a team high 15 points at the half.
At one point during the half, Dunn would call out her own shot from behind the arc. Intentionally loud enough so that both her teammates and the crowd could hear it. The shot sent Kenwood fans (dawning their red and blue school gear) into an uproar.
Dunn also finished second in team scoring with 20 points and was responsible for building her team’s 13 point lead over the Lady Wolverines at 26-13 in the second quarter.
Although the Lady Wolverines fell behind by as many as 13 points early in the half, Simeon’s star Aneesah Morrow scored 15 of her team high 21 points to close out the quarter. The Lady Wolverines outscored the Lady Broncos 24-13 in the second quarter.
In the second half, the Lady Wolverines and the Lady Broncos exchanged several baskets in the third quarter. But the momentum would change after coach Jonathan Davenport of the Lady Wolverines made the necessary defensive adjustments. The Lady Wolverines edged the Lady Broncos 19-18 to close out the third quarter.
“We started off with a little bit of the jitters,” said coach Davenport. “Late in the first quarter and early in the second we started making some baskets and our confidence and all those jitters went away.”
The fourth quarter ended the way the third quarter started, as both team’s like championship boxing title contenders, gave each other their very best shot over eight minutes of play with Simeon coming out on top.
The Lady Wolverines finished the game with four starters in double figures, including Morrow’s 21 points and 12 rebound effort, Khaniah Gardner’s 18 points and 12 rebound effort, junior forward, Diamond Stokes 15 point effort and Cashay Dixon adding 12.
With the loss, the Lady Broncos fell to 24-6 on the season and will travel to Back of the Yards College Prep (Chicago, IL) on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to meet the Bobcats in a non-conference match. Up next for Kenwood and Simeon are the state playoffs. Times and dates to be announced.
Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:
Brianna McDaniel, Kenwood, 22 points.
Aneesah Morrow, Simeon, 21 points and 12 rebounds.