Gordon Loses Heartbreaker

March 5, 2013
This was a heartbreaking loss for Gordon first-year head basketball coach Tom Kleinschmidt. Uplift (17-9) beat the Rams (17-10) 47-44 to win the Senn Regional in the Class 3A state playoffs on Friday night. The Titans advanced to the Antioch Sectional with 22 free throws and 16 offensive rebounds while Gordon missed 13 free throws. “It’s disappointing to lose,” Kleinschmidt admitted after the loss. “It’s disappointing for the coaches. It’s disappointing for the kids.” “Gordon is an excellent team,” Uplift head coach Dave Taylor said in this matchup of former prep players in Chicago. “They are well-prepared and well-coached. The future is very bright.” Taylor played at Senn while many remember Kleinschmidt from his days as one of the state’s best players at Gordon. Uplift, a relatively new member of the Public League schools, will now face North Chicago (26-3) at Antioch on Tuesday night. The Warhawks are seeking their third straight trip to the state finals after beating Northside Prep (14-13) 84-41. Gordon was one of the best defensive teams in the Catholic League. But on this night the Rams couldn’t contain senior Jerrard Davis. Davis has been on the varsity team since freshman year. Davis extended his career and his team’s season by scoring 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as Uplift overcame a seven-point deficit at halftime to stun the Rams in the regional final. Davis scored 13 points in the third quarter and made 16-of-20 foul shots. Gordon struggled at the foul line making only 13-of-26 free throws. “Tonight he was the man,” Taylor said. “It’s my senior year,” Davis explained. “I wanted to win something.” “I think they played great,” Kleinschmidt said. “They have a beast of a player in Davis. They are athletes. They play extremely hard. They earned it.” Jerry Davis ended his career for Gordon by scoring 18 points. Uplift opened some eyes by finishing second in the Red North behind Foreman (16-8). Foreman has won or shared the Red North the last seven seasons. Davis had a big game for the Titans, but the game’s biggest basket belonged to Jeremy Roscoe. Roscoe’s three-pointer gave Uplift a 44-41 lead with 2:41 left. Gordon eventually tied this contest at 44-44 on a free throw by Devanchey Bell with one minute left. Uplift wisely decided to play for the last shot. Jerrard Davis sealed the regional championship plaque with three free throws in the last 13 seconds. “I plan to be at Gordon for twenty years,” Kleinschmidt said. “I may have better teams. This is my favorite team. These guys are my family for life.” There were some positives for Kleinschmidt. Gordon became more competitive in the Catholic League winning four games after snapping a 35-game conference losing streak against St. Joseph. The Rams can build around sophomore Raequan Williams, junior Chris Flores, and sophomore Deon Merril, and sophomore point guard Chris Harrell. The sophomore team won 13 games. Maybe the biggest thing that Kleinschmidt did was off the court as fans, students, parents, and grammar school players are excited about the program.

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