Farragut senior Kawanise Wilkins has one of those nicknames that follows him everywhere. No one calls him by his real name, he’s always “Squeaky.”
“When I was in the hospital bed I was squeaking when I was crying, I sounded like a little mouse,” Wilkins said. “So they called me squeaky. It’s stuck with me since I was a baby.”
Wilkins didn’t resemble a mouse in any way on Wednesday at Uplift. The 6-5, 220-pound guard was a man among boys. He scored 31 points, 17 in the fourth quarter, to lead Farragut to a 62-58 upset of No. 8 Uplift in the second round of the Public League playoffs.
Wilkins and Farragut read Uplift’s comments in the Sun-Times earlier this week.
“They were already talking about Uplift vs. Simeon,” Wilkins said. “There isn’t any Uplift vs. Simeon. They have to see Farragut.”
The Admirals will travel to Simeon for the quarterfinals, which have been moved from Friday to Wednesday.
Wilkins only made three field goals. He did his damage at the free throw line. The Titans (21-5) didn’t have any way to stop him from getting into the lane and drawing a foul. Wilkins shot 24-for-29 from the line.
“I was just going in there as hard as I could,” Wilkins said. “It’s all about the clutch free throws. Free throws win games.”
Wilkins picked up his fourth foul 30 seconds into the second half. At that point the Admirals (11-8) were trailing by five.
“I took him out for a little while because I wanted to calm him down,” Farragut coach Wolf Nelson said. “Then I got him back out there.”
Uplift led 46-38 with 6:15 to play. But the game changed for good at that point. Titans star senior Demarius Jacobs, an SIU recruit, fouled out of the game. He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
“He’s their best player,” Wilkins said. “You take him out of the game and who do they have? [Sophomore Markese Jacobs] is good, don’t get me wrong. But he’s not the big brother.”
Markese Jacobs finished with 12 points and Toraze Dobbs led the Titans with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Farragut sophomore Aaron Strong scored 15 points, he fouled out early in the fourth quarter. That’s when Wilkins took over the game. He scored 14 of Farragut’s final 17 points and made 11 consecutive free throws.
Nelson said Wilkins has been averaging 20 points most of the year, but has been closer to 25 recently. Wilkins is an academic qualifier and colleges are starting to notice him.
“I’m underrated, very underrated,” Wilkins said. “I don’t know why, they are going to wake up soon.”
Wilkins has recently heard from Washington State, UTEP and UNLV.
“There are a couple more too, it has been picking up,” Wilkins said.Tags: Farragut, Uplift