O’Brien: Theo Owens speaks, Devin Gage listens and Curie beats Bogan

SHARE O’Brien: Theo Owens speaks, Devin Gage listens and Curie beats Bogan
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Curie senior Devin Gage is a quiet kid, the lead-by-example type. He’s Curie’s best player and one of the state’s leading stars. The Condors only have one other senior that receives playing time, Theo Owens. He’s a bulky football player, a high-energy guy and he’s becoming Curie’s vocal leader.

“I guess I am, because they listen to me,” Owens said.

Owens pulled Gage and junior Elijah Joiner aside during the crucial fourth quarter of Curie’s 62-60 win over visiting Bogan in the second round of the Public League playoffs on Wednesday.

“I told them to focus and get this done, that I wanted to go back to Chicago State so go play ball,” Owens said.

It seemed to do the trick. Gage, a DePaul recruit, scored just four points through the first three quarters and the Condors trailed 43-39. He stepped up and scored seven points in the fourth quarter, including two crucial free throws with eight seconds to play.

“I wasn’t worried,” Joiner said. “Devin is an amazing player he came back and made plays for us. That’s his job and that’s what he did.”

Bogan had several chances to win or tie the game in the final minute. Marcus Cole missed a game-tying dunk with 45 seconds to play and James Jones missed a three-pointer with nine seconds to play.

“I don’t know the problem was early,” Gage said. “Bogan is a solid team. Thankfully my team trusted in me at the end, gave me the ball and I came through. “

Sophomore Landers Nolley II drained a trio of clutch three-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 17 points.

“We didn’t play any defense the first three quarters,” Curie coach Mike Oliver said. “They were getting uncontested shots, whatever they wanted. [Bogan senior Bryce Barnes] was leading them the way he normal does and causing problems.”

Owens added six points and five rebounds off the bench.

“He’ll do the dirty work in there,” Oliver said. “He throws his body around and tries to get us second possessions. He came up big, was huge down the stretch.”

Gage had 11 points and five rebounds and Joiner finished with 13 points and six rebounds for Curie (19-4).

“We were just out of sync the first three quarters,” Joiner said. “I think we came back in the fourth quarter and played hard and together.”

Barnes led Bogan (17-7) with 20 points. Buffalo recruit James Jones added 16 points and seven rebounds for the defending city champions. Marcus Cole had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

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