Kawanise Wilkins dominates as Farragut shocks Uplift

Farragut's Kawanise Wilkins (0) is fired up after taking down Uplift in the second round of the Public League playoffs. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

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.

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  • Observer

    Total BS that kid was underrated for great reason. and the Red West wasnt tougher that night. That kid that from Farragut fouled out late in the 4th. Those refs targeted the top 3 defender s on Uplift and fouled them out also Markese played with 4. Good thing they kicked Chris out for being disrespectful and talking crazy to kids. This whole article seem as biased as those refs were that night. They weren’t worthy nor good enough to play Simeon and everyone knows it. Thats why thought got beat by 30. Wasnt any westside refs aka friends of wolf there to save them that night huh.

  • Mike

    Red Notth isn’t as strong as Red West. The Uplift players couldn’t make adjustments in a real battle and subsequently fell short. The players are blaming themselves, but the fans and are blaming the refs. Funny

  • Black

    I saw this coming. Anytime a team overlooks its current opponent, to get to the next possible opponent, they lose. Have to take one game at a time approach.

  • Damon

    They robbed UPLIFT the best team in this tournament.

  • Damon

    We need neutral refs at these games. When we play inner city games. IHSA. Please hear me out the city need suburban refs that don’t know these coaches. And don’t know the teams. Cause these inner city refs get paid to call games unfair.

  • Damon

    The refs need to let these kids play the refs clearly don’t call calls fair when we play south and west side schools. Knowbody calls fair games against our talent. Uplift has the best talent and the refs and the coaches know that.

  • chestermusiala

    West Side is the best side.

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