Curie guard Carlos Harris has started on varsity since he was a freshman. The junior has a bundle of college offers and is a respected force in the Public League.
But over the past two weeks Harris has elevated his game and is emerging as a star. He hit the game-winner to stun top-ranked Simeon on Jan. 26. Tuesday at Young Harris was in complete control, dazzling and dominating on his way to a career-high 35 points as No. 7 Curie took down the No. 5 Dolphins 75-60 in the quarterfinals of the city tournament.
“This is just me,” Harris said. “I have to be a leader and step up for my team.”
Harris was 13-for-18 shooting and had six rebounds, three steals and a block. He made a three-pointer in the first quarter and spent the rest of the game attacking the basket with speed and style.
“He’s hungry now and he’s out to prove something,” Condors coach Mike Oliver said. “The light bulb is starting to come on and he’s one of the best guards in the city.”
It wasn’t as close as the final score. The Condors led by 10 after a quarter and were ahead 41-18 at the half.
Curie’s aggressive defense forced Young into 15 turnovers and led to the big early leads. Junior Christian Brockett, a transfer from Leo, came off the bench and nabbed four steals for the Condors (19-9).
“It has been a challenge adapting to the Public League,” Brockett said. “But I’ve wanted to make an impact and be special in some type of way. So it’s being that spark off the bench. I can do that every game.”
Jeremy Harrington Jr. had 12 points and six rebounds for the Condors and Chikasi Ofoma added 10 points and four rebounds. Their post defense has been key to Curie’s upsets of Simeon and Young.
The Condors have been playing unselfishly since Christmas, and Oliver has multiple dependable ballhandlers in Harris, Brockett, Kros Barrett and Shawn Brown.
“A lot of people doubted us because we started out slow,” Harris said. “But we are back in our rhythm.”
Sophomore Antonio Munoz led Young with 18 points and seven rebounds. Senior Dalen Davis also scored 18 and Daniel Johnson added 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Dolphins (21-6) have lost their last two big local showdowns but remain a threat to advance to Champaign in the Class 4A state playoffs.
Curie will face Simeon in the city semifinals on Thursday. The Wolverines knocked off North Lawndale 74-54 on Tuesday behind 21 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks from Loyola recruit Miles Rubin.
Perspectives-Leadership beat Hyde Park for the third time this season and will play Kenwood in the other semifinal.
The Broncos held on to beat Phillips 71-68. Calvin Robins Jr. scored 18 and Solomon Mosley scored 16 and grabbed 11 rebounds for Kenwood.
The semifinals will be held Thursday night at UIC, and the title game is on Saturday at 4 p.m. at UIC.