Curie survives St. Rita; Danville takes down Orr

SHARE Curie survives St. Rita; Danville takes down Orr
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Curie’s Jayden Gasby (1) controls the ball as St. Rita’s Javon Cooley (34) defends, December 10, 2017. Allen Cunningham / for the Sun-Times.

The two marquee games of this season’s Team Rose Classic at Mount Carmel were drastically different. Danville’s win against Orr was a high-level, crowd-pleasing thriller.

Curie’s messy win against St. Rita wasn’t much fun to watch, but it should provide an important warning to the rest of the state. The Condors beat the Mustangs 64-42 on Sunday without any of their players performing particularly well.

“No one did much to stand out,” Curie coach Mike Oliver said. “But we have a bunch of guys that can contribute to a win. The key today was our 11th and 12th man was better than their eighth man.”

Curie gutted out a similar win against Orr last week. The Condors are beating some of the area’s best teams and they aren’t playing well yet. The dip in form is likely do to all the new pieces Oliver is trying to fit together.

St. Joseph transfer Marquise Walker, Urban Prep-Englewood transfer Jayden Gasby and Marist transfer Maurice Commander are all trying to jell with new teammates.

Commander didn’t play on Sunday at Mount Carmel. He has a hand injury but Oliver says he expects Commander will be able to play on Tuesday against Morgan Park.

Gasby led the Condors with 10 points and seven rebounds.

“I’m growing a relationship with the guys and the coaches,” Gasby said. “The level of basketball is tougher and grimier, but I’m getting better every game.”

11 players scored for Curie (4-1). Tyree Martin, a 6-8 senior, had eight points and five rebounds and sophomore Ramean Hinton scored seven.

Jordan Matthews led St. Rita (4-5) with 17 points and six rebounds. The Mustangs had a rough week, also losing to Providence and Leo.

Danville’s 91-89 win over Orr was decided in the final two possessions. Senior Kendle Moore grabbed a rebound and drove to the basket for a swooping, gorgeous layup with seven seconds left to put the Vikings ahead.

Orr had a chance to tie or win but was unable to get a shot off.

Moore finished with 30 points, five rebounds and five steals. The Drake recruit was a blur with the ball, regularly burning the Spartans for easy layups in transition.

Sean Houpt added 16 points and eight rebounds for Danville, which has established itself as a real contender in Class 4A.

“This is a huge statement for us,” Moore said .”Everyone always overlooks the teams south of the Chicago area. It was important for us to come here and make a name for ourselves.”

Danville (8-1) is the fourth seed at the loaded Pontiac Holiday Tournament, right behind Simeon Curie and Oak Park.

Orr’s rocky start to the season continues. The Spartans (3-2) were dazzling at times, but failed to finish. Senior guard Chase Adams scored a career-high 37 points and Dannie Smith added 24.

Orr had a size advantage against the Vikings, but never asserted it offensively or on the boards. Danville out-rebounded the Spartans 36 to 23.

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