O’Brien: Danville shocks Curie

No one saw this coming. Four of the best teams in the state, all of them undefeated, played quarterfinal games at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament on Thursday. Three of them lost, including No. 1 Curie, USA Today’s No. 12 team in the country.

Danville didn’t just beat the Condors. The Vikings dominated them 71-55. Curie coach Mike Oliver pulled his starters with more than two minutes left to play.

“Danville was terrific, we were awful,” Oliver said. “Guys think they can just walk on the court and win and the other team comes in with more energy.”

This is the third consecutive year Curie and Danville have played at Pontiac, Vikings guard Kendle Moore thought that was a key to the upset.

“We know them, it’s hard to beat a team three times in a row is the saying,” Moore said.

Moore was the driving force behind the upset, he scored 36 points, shot 5-for-9 from three-point range. He’s a dynamic, fast player and a terrific finisher at the rim.

“He plays AAU with a lot of our guys,” Oliver said. “We know he’s a great player and he was just fantastic.”

Elijah Joiner led Curie (10-1) with 16 points. Joiner and Allante Pickens were a combined 7-for-33 from the field.

“We didn’t come out to play,” Oliver said. “We missed layups. They came to play, had all the energy and beat us to every lose ball. We were bad, we were horrible. We didn’t do anything right at all.”

Danville (8-3) was without Caleb Griffin. He’s a starter and nailed the buzzer-beater three-pointer that beat West Aurora in the first round on Wednesday. Vikings coach Ted Houpt said Griffin left for a football camp in Florida, he’s one of the best field goal kickers in the country.

“With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter [vs. West Aurora] the odds were 99.99 percent that this isn’t where we were going to end up,” Houpt said. “I didn’t see this coming. It wasn’t a brilliant game plan, we just came out and played poised.”

Danville will face Benet in the semifinals on Friday.

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13 comments

  • qkhands

    The officiating in Pontiac was terrible!!!!! Fans came to watch good basketball at a holiday tournament with a list of loaded teams and talent. Seem as though the tournament was set up for high school fans to come see the bad officiating of “Terrible Refs”. Fans didn’t come to see the refs, they came to see good basketball. The refs destroyed the tournament,the identity of a lot of teams,and the integrity of high school basketball in Pontiac. The IHSA should view the list of the refs there and make sure they don’t sabotage the state tournament this year. Wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of teams will drop out the tournament. Maybe the tournament should be held at the Pontiac Correctional Center next year where the prison guards are the referees ?? VERY DISAPPOINTED !!!!

  • Julius Moore

    Kendle Moore is the best point guard in the state. And he just provide it tonight

  • Steve Dockery

    Al William,I dont think he was out coach,or sold his kids out.It was probably just one of those days when the best team didn’t win.

  • Steve Dockery

    Al William,I dont think he was out coached,or sold his kids out.It was probably just one of those days when the best team didn’t win.

  • Jake Perales

    Curie plays well against the top tier teams and then gets upset against the second tier teams. That’s their history.

  • West sub fan

    The officials in the Uplift Morgan park game where an embarrassment in way over their heads !! It was a shame

  • tarheelblue

    Just shows kids u don’t come to play, you’ll get beat. MAKE NO MISTAKE, THEY R STILL THE TEAM TO BEAT!

  • PW fan

    I know Morgan Park slipped into the final with a close win over Uplift, but the officiating was downright terrible for a high-level high school game. In my 32 years of watching HS hoops at Proviso West I’ve never seen anything like it! One official(an older guy) could hardly keep up with the action. He was seen gasping at times with several unexplained play stoppages. The early fouls that got called on Uplift were more suited for 6th grade basketball. This was semi-final game between two very good public league teams and the two of the three officials were overmatched. Period!! Ask anyone in attendance at the game yesterday and they will tell you that Uplift got royally jerked around by the silly fouls that were being called. And it seemed like EVERY bad call went against Uplift. The entire game! Uplift made a great comeback from 17 down. They had a chance to win with 3 seconds left, but an errant pass ruined their chances. I cant understand how such old and tired and seemingly inexperienced officials get assigned to such a big game? They completely screwed it up! Markese Jacobs fouled out along with 3 other Uplift players and Demarius Jacobs had to play with 4 fouls for most of the game. He picked up his 3rd foul less than a minute into the 2nd qtr. but never came out of the game. I wonder how that might have effected Uplift’s defensive gameplan? The older Jacobs was guarding Dosunmu and after he had to switch due to his foul trouble, Dosunmu’s game took off! If you know the game…its clear how the petty fouls disrupted Uplift’s early game flow. It allowed MP to get into a rythym, and Uplift was sort of scrambling. Once the Titans settled down though…it was a great game. The troubling situation with the officials persisted but somehow Uplift pushed all that aside and turned it into perhaps the best game of the holiday tournament season thus far. I can’t help but wonder though….if all things were even on the court last night…would I even be writing this? The titans caught a bad draw on the refs!!!

  • al William

    I love when Mike Oliver gets out coached. He sells out his players when they don’t perform, but lacks the integrity to take any of the blame for his team’s failures.

    Mike has always been an “I/my” guy when they win, but a they/players guy when Curie loses.

    • Condor 4 Life

      The last I checked, coach oliver hasn’t laced up sneakers in a Curie uniform in 29 years. It also appears you have a hard time with the English language as well. He was quoted saying “we” which means him included. Sounds like you are a hater and probably have never picked up a basketball yourself. You are what we call a sideline clown, always clowning around on the sideline.

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