Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
By Michael O'Brien
On the back of Brooks' warm-up shirts is the phrase "Respect is taken."
The Eagles took their respect over the past three weeks, knocking off North Lawndale, Bogan, Farragut and Curie on the way to the Public League championship game. Then Friday at Chicago State Brooks put the finishing touches on the magical run, beating Young 67-54 in the title.
The senior backcourt led the way for Brooks. George Marshall scored 23 and dished out four assists. Mike Powell scored 15 and grabbed five rebounds.
Marshall, Powell and big-men twins Keith Gray (seven points, nine rebounds) and Kevin Gray (five points) are four-year starters for the Eagles. Chris Head coached Brooks for the past three years. Bobby Locke left Evanston in August to take the Brooks job.
"They were a very tight team when I took over," Locke said. "I didn't yell at them for the first month of practice."
Brooks (22-3) jumped out to a 14-7 lead. Young closed to within one point on a Sam Thompson dunk to open the third quarter, but the Eagles responded with a 15-3 run. The Dolphins never threatened again.
"We started out with a lot of momentum and got that lead," Brooks senior Xavier Wells said. "After that we knew we just had to keep it up."
Wells hit two three-pointers to start the fourth quarter and finished with 13 points.
"George, coach and I sat down at the beginning of the season and had a meeting to make sure we were all on the same page," Powell said. "It's great to play with George. We're double trouble."
Thompson led Young (17-10) with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kwai Pearson scored 14 points and Derrick Randolph added 12. The Dolphins seemed out of sync from the opening tip, never able to capture the magic they played with in their upset of top-ranked Simeon in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Young beat Bogan 46-44 to win the sophomore title. Freshman Paul White led the Dolphins (31-2) with 15 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Keith Langston added nine points and five rebounds. Sophomore Juwan Henry led Bogan (30-1) with 14 points.