Chaz Harvey scores 22 as Brooks takes down another Public League power

The Eagles have a special team this year. That was obvious during the first few moments of their 66-60 win against visiting Bogan on Thursday.

SHARE Chaz Harvey scores 22 as Brooks takes down another Public League power
Brooks’ Chaz Harvey (0) drives the ball past Bogan’s Tarel Harding (23).

Brooks’ Chaz Harvey (0) drives the ball past Bogan’s Tarel Harding (23).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Public League games don’t have any spectators this season because of COVID-19. It makes all the sounds on the court more noticeable. At most games, that mainly has consisted of the mask-muffled yelling of coaches. But not at Brooks. 

The Eagles have a special team this year. That was obvious during the first few moments of their 66-60 win against visiting Bogan on Thursday. 

There was chatter coming from all of the Brooks players on defense. The zone moved quickly, and all five guys clearly were locked in from the start. 

“The talking helps way more than actually perceived,” Brooks senior Joseph Porter said. “We talk a lot during practice, and that just feeds into the game. When we see somebody cutting back door, we know we need to say it.”

Brooks was elevated to the Red-South/Central after winning the White-South last season. The Eagles weren’t expected to make much noise, but last week they pulled off the first and only upset of the Public League season so far, knocking off Corliss. 

The Bengals (1-4, 0-3) are not as talented as they have been for the last decade, and coach Arthur Goodwin is playing a lot of young guys. But Brooks beating Bogan is still a head-turner. 

“I just have to keep the kids humble now,” Brooks coach George Montgomery said. “I knew we could play in the Red but the key would be playing together. This is the only team I’ve had that has been a collective. They play defense together and they cheer each other on. Hopefully we can finish in the top four.”

Brooks’ Tim Taiwo (5) reacts during the game against Bogan.

Brooks’ Tim Taiwo (5) reacts during the game against Bogan.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Senior Chaz Harvey led Brooks (2-1, 2-0) with 22 points and eight rebounds. He had six consecutive points in the final minute to seal the win. 

“His heart is huge,” Montgomery said. “Whoever gets him on the next level is going to love him. He’s going to be a steal. I’m going to get on the horn, on the internet. There is no way he shouldn’t have a four-year scholarship.”

Montgomery knows what he’s talking about. He played at Illinois and was an NBA second-round draft pick. He’s also the father of NBA player JaVale McGee, something that doesn’t get discussed a whole lot around the city. 

“Coach will get on FaceTime with his son sometimes during practice,” Porter said. “And he wears the Lakers championship ring sometimes. But we don’t bring it up all that much.”

Vince Griffin and Tim Taiwo each scored 11 points for the Eagles, who were unselfish on offense. 

“We’ve been playing as a unit,” Porter said. “No one’s ego is taking over the team. We all pass and we all know we can shoot and score, so there is nothing to be selfish about.”

Senior Darrion Jones led Bogan with 21 points and seven rebounds. 

“This is what happened the last three games,” Goodwin said. “We don’t have any spirit. Next year we will be back and have some experience.”

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