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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Michael O'Brien

Curie shocks top-ranked Simeon on a game-winning shot by Carlos Harris: ‘I was kind of nervous’

Curie teammates rush to celebrate with Carlos Harris (2) after Harris scores the game winning basket against Simeon. (Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times)

Carlos Harris is only a junior, but he’s one of the city’s most seasoned varsity basketball players. He’s the guy that Curie coach Mike Oliver wants with the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. 

Harris demonstrated why twice in the final seconds of No. 15 Curie’s 50-48 upset of top-ranked Simeon on Thursday. 

The host Condors had the ball with the game tied and 20 seconds on the clock. Harris found himself wide open in the paint with 12 seconds left. There was no one within three feet of him. Somehow, he resisted the urge to shoot the ball and Oliver called a timeout. 

“It was too soon,” Harris said. “I knew we were going to call a timeout when it got closer to ten seconds so I had to wait.”

The decision paid off handsomely. After the timeout, Harris drove the lane and drained the game-winning floater with just a bit fewer than two seconds left to play. There was no time for Simeon (20-2, 7-2 Red-South/Central) to recover. 

“I was kind of nervous to take that shot,” Harris said. “But I was also confident. That was a big game and I want to be a leader for this team, so I had to take that shot.”

Harris finished with 11 points and six rebounds. He was just 4-for-15 shooting. 

“I missed a lot of shots, definitely,” Harris said. “But I had to keep being aggressive.”

Curie (16-9, 6-2) led by four at halftime. Simeon built a lead by the fourth quarter. A free throw by Wes Rubin but the Wolverines ahead 46-42 with 2:32 left. 

The big momentum swing came a minute later. Curie senior Jeremy Harrington Jr. blocked Miles Rubin in the post and kept the rebound. On the next possession Harrington hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 46 and the fans in the Condors’ recently redone gym went wild. 

Curie’s Carlos Harris (2) is celebrated by teammates after winning the game against Simeon. (Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times)

Harrington, 6-5, and senior Chikosi Ofoma, 6-7, both give up several inches to Simeon’s 6-10 Rubin twins. 

“They are much taller than us, so we have to be physical with them,” Harrington said. “We have to play rough and make the refs call the fouls. They foul us, we foul them and just play basketball.”

Harrington had eight points and 10 rebounds and Ofoma scored seven for Curie. Senior guard Shawn Brown added 11 points. 

Curie lost four games last week. It was a difficult stretch for the Condors, who had several players suspended after a fight ended their game against Proviso East prematurely. 

“It makes me feel good that the kids know how to deal with adversity,” Oliver said. “Basketball is supposed to be the outlet for them. We had to put that in the past.”

Simeon turned the ball over 20 times and was out rebounded 32-25.

“Just too many turnovers and they were mainly unforced,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “It wasn’t due to pressure or anything. We’re just trying to make home run plays instead of keeping it simple.”

Curie was clearly razor focused in the pregame. The Condors sat on the bench for a solid ten minutes. There was no talking. They just stared straight ahead while Simeon finished warmups. 

“We were locked in,” Harris said. “Usually, we are playing around too much. Not today. We wanted this win because people had been doubting us. But we are coming to win the city.”

Kenwood beat Phillips 71-44 on Thursday to win the Red-South/Central and grab a No. 1 seed in the city tournament, which starts next week. 

“I’m not too concerned,” Smith said. “This wasn’t for a championship, and we were going to finish second in the conference regardless. I’m not mad. We just have to clean up some things.”

Watch the final minute of Simeon at Curie:

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