Sincere Key leads Solorio past Lindblom, picks up his first scholarship offer

Sincere Key scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Sun Warriors, a White Division team, to a 69-64 win against the host Eagles, a Red-South/Central team.

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Solorio’s Sincere Key (1) shoots the ball over Lindblom’s Myles Twyman (12).

Solorio’s Sincere Key (1) shoots the ball over Lindblom’s Myles Twyman (12).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Solorio’s Sincere Key had a singular focus on Tuesday. He wanted to beat Lindblom. The senior wound up doing that and also received a life-changing opportunity along the way.

“They beat us twice last year and beat us two years ago as well,” Key said. “I just really wanted to get them so I had to come out confident. We had energy and we played together.”

Key scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Sun Warriors, a White Division team, to a 69-64 win against the host Eagles, a Red-South/Central team.

Roosevelt University coach Joe Griffin was at the game. Roosevelt is recruiting Lindblom’s Marshun Williams. Key caught Griffin’s eye as well and he offered a scholarship after the game.

“It’s my first offer,” Key said. “It’s emotional. I really don’t know how I feel right now until I get home and talk to my parents. I didn’t know I was going to get an offer this year.”

Solorio (6-2) led by three at halftime. Lindblom (4-6) cut the Sun Warriors’ lead to three again on a three-point play by Phillip Taylor with 2:33 to play.

Solorio sophomore Donovan Jones responded with a drive to the basket and score. He made 4 of 4 free throws in the final thirty seconds to seal the win.

“My team said I needed to score and I needed to attack so that is what I did,” Jones said. “I’m an all-around player. I can get my teammates involved and I can score anytime I want to. When I see defense I don’t feel any pressure.

Jones finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals. The Sun Warriors forced Lindblom into 26 turnovers.

“Our defense has been growing since day one,” Solorio coach Justin Rhymes said. “I’m not shocked they turned the ball over 26 times because our defense is really good. A lot of other teams will do the same.”

Williams had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Eagles and Matthew McGowan added 17 points and nine boards.

“Second half we wanted to come out and get the ball out of [Williams’] hands a little more,” Rhymes said. “Marshun is a heck of a player. And actually a big part of our game plan was against [Lindblom guard Na’shawn Hoze] but he didn’t play.”

Amarion Fields scored 12 points for Solorio and Jordan Hill scored nine. The Sun Warriors have beaten Tinley Park and Mount Carmel this season, so their status as a White Division team is deceiving.

“Getting up to the Red is very important,” Jones said. “We have a great team and we need to get up there. We came up short last year.”

Soloiro will play in the York Holiday Tournament next week, a prestigious invitation for a team in the Public League’s second division.

“We are the only CPS team there,” Rhymes said. “We are definitely coming out and trying to make some noise in that tournament.”

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