Kenwood’s season has been a rollercoaster. The Broncos, once ranked as high as No. 2, are currently out of the Super 25. But the talent remains and was fully evident in a 67-39 win against visiting Collins in the first round of the Public League playoffs on Monday.
Kenwood blitzed Collins from the start and never looked back.
“That was really important,” Kenwood senior Manny Patterson said. “You can’t take any team lightly in the city playoffs. Everybody plays it like it is their last game.”
The Broncos had a major size advantage and exploited it well. David Hunt, a 6-5 senior, was a major aggressor in the first quarter, setting the tone. He finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds
“We knew [Collins] had a few pretty good guards that could shoot the ball well,” Hunt said. “We are a lot bigger than them so it was important to come in and out-rebound them.”
Patterson, a 6-8 senior, was the other force on the board for Kenwood (17-6). He had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Kenwood had lost two of its last three games. There was no shame in the loss at Curie, but the loss to Downers Grove South was concerning.
“I’ve seen a lot better focus since then,” Kenwood coach Marlo Finner said. “We got together and we aired things out with the seniors and the transfers. It took a little longer than I thought to jell but we are coming around.”
The Broncos have five seniors that will likely play college basketball. None of them are currently committed. That can be a difficult juggling act for any coach.
“It is hard for the kids,” Finner said. “They look around the city, see other kids are committed and as a senior you get a little antsy. They just have to trust the process.”
Senior point guard Bryson Langdon had 11 points and fiver rebounds for Kenwood. Sophomore Antonio Reeves scored 10 points and senior Octavius Parker added nine.
“We can win the city,” Patterson said. “We just have to compete every night and play together. As the seniors we just need to continue to show strong leadership. It’s a new season now, everyone is 0-0.”
Patterson has several college scholarship offers, he picked up one from Toledo this week. Things haven’t been as active for Hunt.
“Right now it is a little slow,” Hunt said. “I’ve been hearing from a few schools but I’m just waiting for the process to play itself out.”
Kenwood will travel to face Bogan, a 70-49 winner against Lane, in the second round on Wednesday.
Collins, the White-West conference champs, were led by senior Kamal Hill’s 20 points and five rebounds. Senior guard Terwon Matthews added eight points and seven boards.
Sophomore Jaquan Embrey scored seven and showed an impressive ability to weave his way to the basket past Kenwood’s taller and stronger players.
“[Collins] is a good team,” Finner said. “It was important for us to come out and take care of business.”Tags: Collins, Kenwood