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Dominant Curie beats Orr, heads to city title game

Curie's Dajuan Gordon (3) dribbles away from Orr's Tujautae Williams (22) in their CPS semi final game at Chicago State University, Friday, February 15, 2019. | Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun Times

Orr specializes in throwing opponents off balance. The Spartans have several big, athletic ball handlers that present difficult matchups for opponents.

Curie had an answer for that: Just don’t let those guys handle the ball much.

The Spartans’ rise in the second half of the season came largely on the shoulders of senior transfer Sherif Kenney. Curie junior Justin Harmon was able to contain Kenney, who finished with nine points but wasn’t able to flash his playmaking abilities.

“We were trying to get [Kenney] off the ball, we wanted to deny him and keep him from touching the ball,” Harmon said. “We knew if we could keep him and [Tujautae Williams] off the ball they wouldn’t have an offense.”

It worked. DaJuan Gordon led the way with 23 points and the Condors knocked off Orr 63-52 in the semifinals of the Public League playoffs.

PUBLIC LEAGUE PLAYOFF BRACKET

“These guys know how to play on this court, they’ve been in a lot of big games,” Curie coach Mike Oliver said. “We kept our composure and played the way we played all year. Our kids follow direction well and the outcome was great.”

The Spartans struggled to score throughout the game and only managing six points in the third quarter as the Condors pulled away.

“We knew that if we kept playing the way we’ve been playing all season, taking care of the ball and putting pressure on the defensive end, that we would stay on top,” Curie senior Trevon Hamilton said.

PHOTO GALLERY

Harmon finished with 14 points and six rebounds and Hamilton scored 13 for Curie (28-1)

Greg Outlaw led Orr (19-11) with 15 points and five rebounds. Terry Williams added 15 points and Tujautae Williams had 10 points and four rebounds.

The Condors lost in the title game in 2012 and won their first title in 2014. A few months later Chicago Public Schools forced Curie to forfeit that win due to a rules violation, so technically the school does not have a city championship.

“This just feels good,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been to the final four and lost three years in a row. Now we are going to go win the championship.”