Wright, Tate Dominate Rich Central
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Julian Wright And Cyrus Tate Dominate Rich Central

Michael Brooks (The Real Brain)
Chicago Hoops
March 13, 2004

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Going into Friday’s Sectional Championship match-up against Homewood-Flossmoor, Rich Central was expecting big things, and big things is what they got. H-F 6’8″ twin towers Julian Wright and Cyrus Tate dominated the game on the defensive end in leading the Vikings to a 67-50 Sectional Final victory over Rich Central.

The two were not that bad on the offensive end either, with Wright scoring 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 blocks. Tate, who also scored 17 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, along with 6 blocks. Tate and Wright constantly swatted Rich Central shot attempts on their way to 11 total blocks (12 as a team).

The game started off slow considering that there was 2500 screaming fans packed into M’Cann Gym at Bloom. Rich Central came out with a box and 1 on Excell Hardy (9 points), which stymied the Vikings, and led them into 6 first quarter turnovers. Rich Central was equally as bad, turning the ball over 4 times and shooting a miserable 2 for 14 from the field. “We came out very timid tonight. It seem as though both teams were getting a feel for another.” Coach Roy Condotti said after the game.

H-F seemed to have that feel in the second quater as Hardy erupted for 4 consecutive points, and Julian Wright hit a three at the buzzer to give the Vikings a 21-13 cushion. That cushion would increase to 10 in the 3rd quarter as Wright put on a passing clinic constantly finding cutting teammates.” I just felt like I had to have patience. In the first half I forced a lot of things and had careless turnvovers. In the second half I just settled down, and executed the offense,” Wright explained.

Freddie Barnes, who continued his great postseason play scored 12, and noted that the Vikings defense was the key against a deep Rich Central squad, “we wanted to keep an eye on (Tyrone)Brazleton and (Brandon)Long shooting. We wanted to put a body on (Fred)Washington, and let Cyrus(Tate) and Mike Harrington battle.” The plan worked as the Olympians shot poorly from the field and constantly threw up bad shots.

“It feels great to finally win this sectional and not just talk about it,” Wright said. “Win or lose we wanted to make sure we went out and played 100 percent.” The Vikings move on to play a tough Thornton squad that beat Thornwood 50-41. Wright offered his thoughts on the match-up. ” They beat us once, and we beat them once. So both teams have scratched each other, now the third game is the biggest game for the both of us. We(Thornton and H-F) both will be ready. I know we will.”