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Kenwood's Nick Robinson moves past Westinghouse's Darrell Grant. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Kenwood sophomore Steve Williams is back in the Broncos’ starting lineup. The talented point guard experienced some health problems earlier in the season, and just got his starting spot back.
“I was having trouble breathing, it was my lungs,” Williams said. “It’s better now, but my heart was definitely feeling it out there today.”
Williams heart was up to the task. He scored 15 points and valiantly handled Westinghouse’s pressure in an 81-79 double-overtime win for host Kenwood in the first round of the Public League playoffs.
“I didn’t feel any pressure,” Williams said of the two free throws he drained with six seconds to play in regulation. The throws sent the game to overtime.
As solid as Williams, senior Remy Price (22 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Zach Clark (15 points, nine rebounds) played, Kenwood still spent most of the fourth quarter and both overtimes fending off an incredible charge from Westinghouse senior Ricky Battles.
After Kenwood scored back-to-back baskets midway through the third quarter, Battles lost his cool, slamming the ball down. Westinghouse coach Charles Tabb sent his star player to the bench. He had nine points at that time.
Tabb put Battles back in to start the fourth, and that’s when the show started. He scored 22 points in the fourth quarter and both overtimes, pulling the Warriors back from a seven-point deficit.
Battles’ three with 46 seconds to play in the second overtime brought Westinghouse within 78-76. Westinghouse called a timeout after the basket, but had none left. They were assessed a technical, their third of the game. That essentially sealed the win for Kenwood. The Broncos made both tech foul free throws and one of two on the ensuing possession to lead 81-76. Battles drained a three at the buzzer to account for the final score.
“He just kept hitting big shots,” Kenwood coach Jim Maley said. “He’s a tough player. There really wasn’t anything we could do to stop him.”
Dewan White added 15 points and 16 rebounds for Westinghouse (12-8) and Dequanis Jackson added 10.
Williams isn’t the only talented underclassman at Kenwood. Freshman Nick Robinson scored 11 and grabbed six rebounds.
“We’re building a program here,” Williams said. “We’re just getting started but we believe we can play with Orr.”
The Broncos (13-10) will face Orr in the second round on Thursday.