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Public spectacle: Curie tops Young in 4 OTs for CPS title

Cliff Alexander clebraites after wover Young Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Time Media

Cliff Alexander clebraites after the won over Young Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Time Media

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Young’s Jahlil Okafor was on the bench, fouled out of the biggest game of his career. Curie’s Cliff Alexander was still on the court, but rarely getting the ball.

The spotlight in the city championship game was shifting between Young’s Miles Reynolds and Curie’s Joseph Stamps. Both guards took turns, with some help from their teammates, sending the game into four overtimes.

It seemed as if the game was going to continue forever, then relatively-unknown Kamar Marshall of Curie received the ball in the corner. He drained a three-pointer with one second to play, giving the top-ranked Condors a 69-66 victory over the No. 2 Dolphins and the school’s first Public League title.

“I love Kamar,” Alexander said. “I had faith in him, I knew he would hit that shot.”

Alexander finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Joseph Stamps led Curie (24-1) with 24 points. He set the tone for the Condors with 15 points in the first quarter. His thought process was simple.

“Kill whoever guards me,” Stamps said. “We just made history.”

Not only did the win mark Curie’s first Public League title, but it’s the first city championship game Unliklto go past two overtimes.

Marshall played significant minutes for Curie at the beginning of the season, but was inconsistent and spent most of the last two months on the bench. When Stamps fouled out with 2:14 left in the fourth overtime, he checked into the game.

“I was a little scared,” Marshall said. “But [Curie coach Mike Oliver] says to always be ready.’’

Marshall says he has hit five threes this season. Stamps thought that might have been his first. Regardless, it will go down as the biggest shot in Curie history.

Okafor fouled out with 2:13 to play in the fourth quarter. He finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

“It was tough to watch,” Okafor said. “I was proud of my team, they kept finding a way to stay in, but it was definitely hard to watch.”

Miles Reynolds scored 13, including a turnaround jumper at the buzzer in regulation to send the game into the first overtime. He missed a layup at the end of the second overtime that could have won the game. Stamps missed a three at the third-overtime buzzer that would have been a game-winner.

Paul White scored 19 and grabbed eight boards. Rodney Herenton added seven for the Dolphins (21-6).

Curie held the ball for the majority of the first, second and third overtimes. Alexander made two free throws with 1:47 to play in the fourth overtime. Those were the last points until Marshall’s heroics.

Email: mobrien@suntimes.com

Twitter: @michaelsobrien



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