Corliss senior George Conditt was the story of the summer, elevating himself from a total unknown to an Iowa State recruit.
The summer sensation continues to do the unexpected.
Tuesday at Collins he led his White-South team to an upset win against North Lawndale, a Red-North/West super conference power.
The Phoenix had a chance to win in the final seconds, but London Stamps’ three-point attempt with six seconds to play rimmed out and Conditt was right there to grab the rebound for the Trojans and secure a 60-58 win in the first round of the Public League playoffs.
Conditt finished with 19 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks. He started slow but dominated the second half.
“[Corliss senior Kobe Mapp] and I got into each other’s ear and talked to one another at halftime,” Conditt said. “We knew we had to pick it up, score and play defense.”
Conditt altered more than a dozen of North Lawndale’s shots.
“George just kept at it, he kept fighting and using his length,” Corliss coach Harvey Jones said. “He got put backs and everything he could. He worked every second, every possession for every point and tip that he got. It is one of his best games because it is against one of the best teams in the city.”
Mapp scored 18 points including a crucial eight in the second quarter when the Trojans (19-3) were struggling.
“We knew it would be a tough, wild game,” Mapp said. “I love my team for this, I’m very happy for us. We came out, played hard and did everything coach asked of us and it led to the win.”
North Lawndale led 54-51 after a dunk by Demetrius Douglas with 3:22 to play. The Trojans responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead.
Corliss has won 16 of its last 17 games and the loss was at Quincy, one of the state’s toughest places to win.
“That was a terrible game for me, I didn’t get a triple-double,” Conditt said. “I should have had 20 points and 20 boards, should have done more but I’m happy we got the win.”
Two of North Lawndale’s key players, post Clavonne Hillard and guard Rayion Williams were out with injuries. Junior Demetrius Douglas led the Phoenix with (14-10) with 20 points. David Forrest added seven points and 11 rebounds and Marquese Becton had eight points and eight rebounds.
Corliss, a Class 2A school, has big plans for the season. The Trojans aren’t even fazed by their second round opponent, Simeon.
“We see ourselves being Class 2A champions, regardless of what anyone says we see ourselves competing and winning,” Conditt said. “I’m ready for Simeon, we are all ready. Simeon loses too. They put their pants on the same way I do.”
Jones was an assistant coach at North Lawndale and Simeon before taking the Corliss job.
“It is an emotional win,” Jones said. “Coaching here and playing against one of my mentors is huge. I’ve learned so much from [North Lawndale coach Lewis Thorpe]. And the same thing with [Robert Smith at Simeon] to get a chance to play against them both in the same week is special.
Corliss will play at Simeon in the second round on Thursday.