After legendary Sonny Cox retired from King, Curie coach Mike Oliver renamed the Red-Central “Curie-Central” and held that title for 12 years.
Now, new Kenwood coach Marlo Finner might want to rename the conference “Kenwood-Central” after his team grabbed sole possession of first place in the Red-Central with a 47-46 victory over visiting King.
Rahamanh Katumbusi made the game-winning layup with 13 seconds left to put the Broncos (12-5, 6-0) in position win their first conference title.
“When I got the pass from Nick [Robinson], I broke to the basket hard knowing that I was going to make it or get fouled,” Katumbusi said.
Kenwood led 34-32 at the end of the third quarter, but a technical foul on guard Stephen Williams fueled an 8-0 run by the Jaguars (13-5, 5-2). Jabari Antwine had six points during the run that gave King a 40-34 lead with 5:40 remaining in the game.
The Broncos responded with 9-0 run capped by Katumbusi’s three-pointer that put Kenewood ahead 43-40 with 3:10 left.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Antwine gave the Jaguars a 46-45 lead with 1:12 left. The Broncos then forced King into three consecutive turnovers in the final 19 seconds, including Robinson’s steal that setup the winning basket by Katumbusi.
“The bottom line is that we got the victory — for that I am very happy,” Finner said. ‘‘For a coach, I am not satisfied with our level of play. We were careless with the ball and did some things that will be addressed in practice.”
Katumbusi said the whole team knew that control of their own destiny in the conference was at stake and did not want to lose on their home court.
“We just told each other to play hard,” Katumbusi said. “This game was almost identical to the last game we played with (King) and we beat them by three, after they led almost the whole game. We just kept fighting to the very end.”
Robinson finished 15 points and 12 rebounds. Zion Morgan added 13 points and Katumbusi finished with 11.
Jabari Antwine scored a game-high 20 points and Caleb Williams added 12 to lead the Jaguars.
“This is a tough one to lose,” King coach Culumber Ball said. “We answered every call. We put ourselves in the position to win and down the stretch we let it get away.”