Kenwood, Young advance to girls basketball city title game with blowout victories

By Michael Wojtychiw

Young 59, Phillips 34

Defense is the name of the game.

Talk to any coach and one thing that they’ll almost all say is that good defense leads to good offense. That’s true in pretty much any sport, but for the Dolphins in the Chicago Public League’s first Girls Basketball Red Division semifinal, it couldn’t have been more true.

Young won convincingly, thanks to its defense. The team allowed just one point in the first quarter, with just under 23 seconds remaining and forced 10 first-quarter turnovers.

The game was much different than when the two teams met a mere 12 days ago, an eight-point Young win in the annual crossover game between the two Red Divisions.

For the fifth consecutive season, the Dolphins will match up with Kenwood in either the semifinals or championship game of the city playoffs. For the last two years, it’s been the title game, both of which have been won by the Dolphins.

Kiaya Johnson led the way for the Dolphins with 16 points. Alana Shields added 14 points, seven assists, five steals and 11 rebounds. Nakiyah Williams scored 16 points for Phillips.

Kenwood 69, Hyde Park 41

Much like the first game of the night, the nightcap was also one that featured a lot of good defense by the higher seeded team.

Kenwood came out allowing only 4-of-13 shooting, while forcing 10 turnovers, eight of which were steals. Sophomore Danielle Brooks got out to a quick start for the Broncos, scoring 10 points in the quarter, including drilling two 3-pointers.

After a slow start to the game, Ariella Henigan would end up leading the Broncos in scoring, putting in 23 points on the night, including 18 over the final three quarters.

The Broncos were also able to use their size advantage on the boards, outrebounding Hyde Park 52-38, including 22-12 on the offensive glass.

Along with her 23 points, Henigan added nine rebounds, nine assists and four steals. Brooks finished with 15 points and Icesis Thomas added 14 points. Mia Gaines had a double-double (14 points, 10rebounds) to lead the Thunderbirds, while Jazmyne Byrne had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Photos by Brandon Parker/OSA

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