Kenwood advances to final with thrilling win over McKinley

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WESTWEGO, La. – One of the best teams in the Chicago area squared off with one of the best teams in Louisiana in the semifinals of the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic girls semifinals. In the end, it came down to a close miss.

Alexius Horne, who played an excellent game, narrowly missed a shot off the glass with two seconds left and Jonaie Johnson rebounded as time ran out to secure a thrilling 31-30 victory for Kenwood, Illinois over McKinley at the Alario Center.

McKinley started quickly, taking a 6-0 lead while playing outstanding defense and the Panthers led 9-1 after one quarter, scoring all nine points on 3-pointers, including a pair by Alexius Horne.

The Broncos of Chicago came alive in the second quarter, going on runs of 8-0 and finishing the quarter on a 6-0 run to pull even at 17-17 by halftime. Tamara Nard had seven points and seven rebounds for Kenwood while Horne had nine points for the Panthers.

The run continued to start the third quarter as Kenwood scored the first seven points of the frame to take a 24-17 lead. McKinley cut the deficit to 26-22 by the end of the period.

Tamara Nard led Kenwood (15-2) with 11 points and 13 rebounds while Leilani Murray had eight points and four rebounds. Erica Lafayette topped the Panthers (16-3) with 11 points while Horne had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams. Kenwood was just 8-of-16 (50%) while McKinley was just 3-for-12 (35%). The Broncos outrebounded the Panthers 36-27.

Kenwood advances to face the winner of John Curtis Christian and Loranger in the finals Saturday at 5 p.m. in a game that you can watch live at

McKinley 9 8 5 8 30
Kenwood 1 16 9 5 31

McKinley—Erica Lafayette 11, Alexius Horne 10, Kenyal Perry 5, Jamia Schofield 2, Caira Wren 2

Kenwood—Tamara Nard 11, Leilani Murray 8, Shania Jackson 4, Shadrina McDaniel 4, Destiny Franklin 2

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Ken Trahan


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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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