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Physical defense had knocked the ball away from Lou Adams Jr., but the play wasn’t over. As the loose ball bounced a few times, Adams regained his balance before snatching the rock back into his hands. With Kenwood defender Zach Clark still in his face, Adams started the possession over and looked at the lane in front of him. The Orr guard then crossed over to his left, shaking Clark in the process. Adams then spun back to his right before tossing a floater up from eight feet out that fell softly through the net.
As the Spartans crowd went crazy, a smile broke out on Adams’ face. The bucket with 2:58 remaining was the exclamation point to a nearly flawless, wire-to-wire victory for host Orr, as the top-seeded Spartans advanced to the quarterfinals of the Chicago Public League Playoffs with a 66-45 victory on Thursday evening.
Adams’ smooth play was the final basket of his game-high 22 points. The son of Spartans coach Louis Adams, the Orr guard showcased his talents in a variety of ways. He started off the game sinking a three-pointer from the corner and also added mid-range jumpers and strong attacks to the rim throughout the contest. Fifteen of his points came after halftime, including 11 straight for the Spartans during a three-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.
“I could tell I was stronger than them, so I knew that I could get to the basket if I needed to,” Adams said. “My shot wasn’t falling as well as I would have liked, so I started going to the hoop in the second half.”
Orr (21-2) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, thanks to balanced scoring, strong defense and a hot stroke from behind the three-point line. Seven different Spartans scored in the first quarter and the team finished with eight three-pointers made in the first half. Point guard Brandon Clemons had just one point, but finished with seven assists and a pair of steals. The Broncos didn’t have the ball handlers needed to handle Orr’s trapping defense, nor the inside presence to contest for rebounds. Simply put, it was the type of performance the No. 1 seed in the playoffs is supposed to have in the second round.
“We’re a strong unit, and when we play as a team, I don’t think there’s anybody in the city that can beat us,” said Spartans forward Armani Ousley, who finished with 12 points. “And we’re getting our best player back [forward Marquise Pryor] next week, so we’ll be good to go.”
Clark led the Broncos (13-11) with 12 points. Deandre Weathersby added 10 points for Kenwood.