Two weeks ago Hyde Park suffered a three-point loss to Farragut at the Cure for Cancer Shootout at Orr. On Sunday, it was turnabout is fair play, as the Thunderbirds rebounded from that loss with a 46-43 victory over Farragut in the quarterfinals of the Public League playoffs at Chicago State.
Hyde Park seemed to have the game in control entering the fourth quarter with a 40-28 lead. A strategy by Thunderbirds coach Antoine Samuels nearly backfired as they decided to go into a stall that switched the momentum to Farragut’s favor.
The Admirals seized the opportunity with a 14-2 run to cut the margin to 42-41 with 1:50 remaining in the game. Kendall Ivy sealed the victory for the Thunderbirds when he made a shot to put them up 46-43 with eight seconds remaining.
Ivy finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for Hyde Park (18-8).
“We got lucky,” Samuels said. “If we had lost this one, it would have been my fault. I took the foot off the pedal and it killed our momentum.”
Samuels said one of the big keys for them was containing Farragut’s Ashawn Jones. “We knew we were not going to stop [ Jones], but we wanted to make him work for everything and have a body on him wherever he went,” he said. “We held him down offensively, but he did a job on the boards. I told the team before the game that Farragut was not going to quit and we had to play a full 32 minutes. It wasn’t pretty but we got the victory.”
Farragut coach William Nelson said his team had more than their ample opportunities to win the game, but said poor free throw shooting did them in. The Admirals shot 11 of 23 for the game and 4 of 12 in the fourth quarter. “We fought to get back in it and our failure to convert at the free throw line really hurt us,” Nelson said. “When you shoot free throws the way we did, you’re suppose to lose.”
Jones had 12 points, 20 rebounds, six assists and seven blocks, while Ernest Johson added 11 points to lead Farragut (11-12).