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Cliff Alexander called Wednesday “the day (Curie) has been waiting for since the season started.”
It was the beginning of the Public League playoffs, and the Condors sure are hungry for a city title.
“We want it really bad,” guard Josh Stamps said. “We’ve talked about it all season. We just have to stay focused and keep playing the way we have been.”
Curie started what its hopes will be its journey to a title by rolling to a 71-37 first-round win at home over Perspectives-Calumet.
Alexander led the Condors (20-1) with 22 points and eight rebounds, sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Josh and Joseph Stamps added nine points each.
David Payne scored 13 points for Perspectives (13-9).
Curie put the game away early, Alexander scoring 11 points in the game’s first five minutes as his team raced to a 21-4 lead after one quarter.
“Our plan was to play hard in the first quarter and take (Perspectives’) will to win away,” Curie coach Michael Oliver said. “You don’t want to give a team hope and let them stay around.”
Alexander scored on a fast-break layup, threw down a big dunk and converted a putback with a nifty hook shot all in a three-minute span early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 31-10.
“We want to come out strong and put games away early through the playoffs,” Alexander said. “We’re always focused and ready to go.”
Even when things went bad for Curie, it didn’t last long. When Alexander missed an attempt at a thunderous alley-oop in the third quarter, the ball found its way to Josh Stamps on the perimeter, where he drove down the lane for his own crowd-pleasing slam.
Treyson Johnson finished with six points for the Warriors.
Alondre Perkins and Marcus Gatlin had seven points each for Curie, which will meet North Lawndale or Von Steuben in a second-round contest Sunday at Corliss.
“We felt from the beginning of the season that we had a team that could contend for the city title,” Oliver said. “It would be huge for us to win it. We’ve done everything but win it before.”