||Search Results||Watch Live||Buy Photos||Sign up||School Finder|
The bus trouble that delayed DuSable’s arrival to Curie only postponed the inevitable Curie triumph, 69-44, in both teams’ Red-West season opener Tuesday.
The Panthers played the No. 6 Condors to a 9-9 draw in the first and left the quarter with an outward show of confidence. That all changed in the second quarter when 6-9 Curie center Cliff Alexander showed why he is the No. 2-rated player in the country, triggering a 14-0 run with eight straight points, two blocks and six rebounds in the stretch. Alexander also altered numerous shot attempts as the Condors closed out the half leading 39-18.
DuSable could not get any closer than 16 points the remainder of the contest. Curie coach Mike Oliver turned the game over to the reserves in the fourth quarter. Alexander finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Also in double figures were Devin Gage with 12 and Joshua Stamps with 10.
Oliver said this was an important game for him to evaluate his team.
“This was an emotional week for us defeating one of the top teams in the country at the Chicago Elite Classic and dealing with the uncertainty as to whether Cliff would or would not play,” Oliver said. “Usually you look for a big letdown but that did not happen.”
Alexander said he knows it’s important for him to play at top level no matter who he is up against.
“We need to stay sharp,” Alexander said. “And that means no letting up till we reach our goal of a city and state championship.”
Dontrell Whitaker led three DuSable players in double figures with 16 points and eight rebounds. Isaac Bluford had 13 and Damonte Ross closed it out with 13. Coach Josh Davis admitted his team is a work in progress.
“We have a lot of work to do but we are on the right track,” he said. “Curie is one of the top teams in the country and you can only get better going up against the best.”