Archive for March, 2012

2012 Boys McDonald’s All-American Game

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Boys Best of the Best

March 28 2012

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In the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game featuring the best of the best in Boys basketball, things got started with a fast-pace featuring top-ranked Shabazz Muhammad, who scored 9 of the teams opening 11 points, including a 3-pointer and a monster dunk that brought everyone to the feet.

In the end, it was the West that was on top 106-102.

The West stretched their lead out even more in the second half to 80-56 with 11:50 left to play. The East battled back and got the game within 4 points with 4.1 left to play in regulation, but the clock ran out on them.

Muhammad of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, NV (West) led all players with 21 points, followed by teammate Rasheed Sulaimon who added 18. On the other side of the ball, Alex Poythress, Kentucky-recruit, knocked down 19, 11 of which came in the first half.

Seeing 6’6″ Muhammad live for the first time, he’s is explosive in the open-court and never shy to attack the rim either. In addition to that, his size and strength makes him a force on the court at a couple of positions. Muhammad is scheduled to make his college decision next month and is considering Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, UNLV and UCLA.

Muhammad was name Morgan Wootten Award winner (Player of the Year), as well as MVP of the game.

The McDonald games began in 1977 when they selected the best high school basketball players in the country. This team competed against the best players from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. The following year, McDonald’s launched its very own all-star high school game that was played in Philadelphia at the classic Spectrum. Over the years, these games have featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Shaq O’Neal, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, to name a few. Today, 35 years later, the games took place in Chicago at the United Center.

The McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game distinguishes itself from other all-star games by raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with proceeds from every game going directly to local Chapters and their programs. For more information or to contribute visit RMHC.

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2012 McDonald’s All-American Girls Basketball Game

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Best of the Best

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March 28 2012

In the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game featuring the best of the best in Girls basketball, it was the East on top,79-78, behind the fine play of Alexis Prince who knocked down a team high of 15, followed by Brittney Holmes who added 13. The game ended with a little controversy due to a late foul being called on Katie Collier of Seattle Christian as the buzzer sounded. The foul put Bashaara Graves on the charity stripe, where she knocked down the first shot and missed the second on purpose. This would have been the first ever overtime Girls’ All-American game.

“I thought it was a foul,” said Graves, a Tennessee-recruit, who had seven points and 10 rebounds. “But I was surprised that it was called. It was kind of iffy.”

One could assume since the game was televised, girls game is on ESPN2 and the boys game is on ESPN, overtime would possibly push back the boys broadcast, considered they are the bigger draw.

“I didn’t want it (the game) to end,” Graves said with a big smile. “But it was more important to get the win so…”

Teammate Prince shared the same view of the conclusion of the game. “I wanted to keep playing especially with the best of the best.” Prince is headed to top-ranked Baylor in the fall.

The West were led by Nirra Fields, who finished with 20. Ms. Fields became the first Canadian-born girls’ player to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game. After the game, she shared with us that “I’m just pleased to play here. This was my goal and I wanted this to be an all American.” Fields will be playing ball next year at UCLA.
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Local All-American Morgan Tuck (UConn), out of Bolingbrook, added 18 points, 3 boards in 23 minutes of play. “It was fun to play on the same court as Michael Jordan and now Derrick Rose,” she shared with us after the game. ”

The East jumped out to as much as 16 point lead in the first period (7:36) including an 11-0 run to start the game, but the West slowly picked away at the lead and got it down to six with less than a minute left to play in the first half, but Syracuse-bound Brittney Sykes, knocked down two of the last baskets to closed out the half (40-31).

The West squad never led and trailed 11-0 early on, they stayed with the East for the entire second half. In the second half, the West was able to tie the game on two separate occasions with the inside play of 6’2″ Tuck, once at 50 and another at 78 with 16 seconds left in regulation, but each time they made their run, Breanna Stewart (UConn) was able to stop them by knocking down shots including 7 of the 8 remaining points.

“This was one of the better played all-star games I’ve seen,” said East coach Anne Long of Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.). “There was a lot of unselfish play.”

Ms. Stewart was name Morgan Wootten Award winner (Player of the Year), and Ms. Prince was named MVP of the game.

As for the other Chicago girls, Janee Thompson, Kentucky-recruit, had 7 points and 2 steals including one 3-pointer; Jewel Loyd finished with 4 points and 8 boards – next stop for her, Notre Dame.
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“We are blessed to play this game and be able to give back like this through the Ronald McDonald game,” Loyd shared after the game. “Right now I’m looking forward to playing with Notre Dame next year. I will be cheering for them in the Final Four game (this weekend in Denver).” In fact, a few of the girls are making a trip to see the game live including Loyd.

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With the 40 year anniversary of Title IX coming, coach Long shared her thoughts “we should be blessed with where we have come from an build on it. The pioneers put us in the right track and we are simply following their paths.”

The McDonald games began in 1977 when they selected the best high school basketball players in the country. This team competed against the best players from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. The following year, McDonald’s launched its very own all-star high school game that was played in Philadelphia at the classic Spectrum. Over the years, these games have featured Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, Ashley & Courtney Paris, and Maya Moore to name a few. Today, 35 years later, the games took place in Chicago at the United Center.

The McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game distinguishes itself from other all-star games by raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with proceeds from every game going directly to local Chapters and their programs. For more information or to contribute visit RMHC.

Be sure to bookmark our site, as well as follow us on Twitter at @ASNN365 (like us also on Facebook – @ASNN365).

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IL Boys 4A Championship Game:

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wolverines 50, Pirates 48

March 17, 2012

PEORIA — Time for the best of the best…. 1 vs 2 for the 2012 Illinois Boys 4A State title and just as important, bragging rights. Not since 2004, when Homewood-Flossmoor and Peoria Central had it out for the State championship has a matchup been this shiny. Even though the crowd wasn’t as large, the hype was well worth the price of admission.

You almost hated for this game to come to an end, as both team scored back-and-forth, each getting a couple of runs, but once the smoke cleared the basketball court, it was the Wolverines still standing, defeating the Pirates 50-48 at Carver Arena Saturday night.

Coming into this game, top nationally ranked Simeon (33-1) is undefeated in the State and one lost in a tournament held in January, while Proviso East (32-1) is just undefeated, including winning the Proviso West Holiday tournament.

All eyes were on junior phenom Jabari Parker, but it was his teammates that held things together when they need it the most. I’m referring to Steve Taylor, Jaleni Neely and Kendrick Nunn.

“That’s a great team,” Taylor said referring to Proviso East. “They played tough and wanted it just like we did. But as you can see, we wanted it a little bit more.”

The first half ended tied at 23.

“As good as they played and as bad as we played, we were still in the game,” coach Robert Smith said after the game.

Nunn opened the fourth quarter with a solid 3-pointer, shortly afterwards, it was more Nunn, then Taylor and Neely got involved, getting an 8-0 run that gave Simeon a 45-41 lead with 3 minutes, 5 seconds remaining.

Simeon extended the lead to 50-45 on a vicious dunk by Parker with 12 seconds left that was called a technical because he held onto the rim a little too long.

Proviso East’s Sterling Brown wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, considering he held Parker in check for most of the game. The team called a timeout, their last timeout, once they were back on the floor, they advanced the ball with pure precision and Brown nailed a BIG 3-pointer from the right corner with less than three seconds to play (50-48). The problem here is, Simeon never touch nor inbounds the ball, thus, the time ran out and the celebration began.

It was reported that coach Donnie Boyce said after the game “I told Sterling we needed a delay too. I should have told him to throw the ball up in the stands afterwards.”

“Unfortunately we came up two points short,” Brown said. “We had a lot of chances to get there, a lot of chances to capitalize. Their experience and our lack of experience was a factor. This is our first time being here, and everybody wanted to take over instead of playing as a team. We’ll get back here next year and learn from our mistakes.”

With this victory, Parker has one more title than Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and he still has one more season left to play. “I’m just glad to pass him, but I couldn’t have done it by myself,” Parker said. “Throughout the years I’ve been blessed with good talent around me. I can’t accept this alone.

Parker led the team with 15 points, and Taylor contributed 12 points and 15 boards. Brown finished with the game high of 25 points.

“It was a collective effort. We came out and got a lot of stops,” said Parker after the contest. “Sterling Brown, he’s an amazing player. We just had to play defense when it counted in the fourth quarter.”

“Scheduling is huge,” said Smith whose team only loss cam to national powerhouse Findlay Prep. “You’ve gotta be in this environment, and we’ve been in this environment all year.”

This is Simeon’s sixth state championship and the team decided to leave their mark on this championship by all removing their shoes on the center of the court. IHSA Director Marty Hickman picked up the shoes.

“I really couldn’t tell you how 32-1 feels because it’s so frustrating,” coach Donnie Boyce said after the game. “You’re right there, it was right in your grasp and you can touch it. We took the champions to the limit but didn’t get the job done.”

        

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IL Boys 4A Third Place: Bloom vs Rockford Auburn

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 17, 2012

Peoria — Both teams come in to this game a little short of playing for the Boys Class 4A title. Bloom lost to top ranked Simeon, while Rockford Auburn lost to Proviso East.

The Blazing Trojans fell short, 57-46, against Rock Auburn in the third place (consolation) game at Carver Arena.

“The slow start definitely cost us,’’ Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. ‘‘We were back on our heels all day.’’

In the first half Bloom shot 2-for-11 from the field, but only trailed 8 points at the half (28-20). But they had a bigger problem, Wichita State recruit Fred  VanFleet of Rockford Auburn. He was explosive on both ends of the court and finished the night with 21 points and 5 assists.


Bloom made one more run in the fourth quarter to cut their lead down to 49-42 that included a basket by Donald Moore with 2:43 remaining, but this proved not  enough.

‘‘That was not Bloom you saw out there,’’ Williams said. ‘‘We pride ourselves on tough defense and team-play, and we were just not focused today at all.’’

Donald Moore, the team’s leading scorer and captain, echoed his coach’s sentiments. ‘‘It’s not the way we wanted to finish,’’ Moore said. ‘‘We just couldn’t get our heads into the game and that’s not how we were taught to play.’’

Moore finished the game with 16 points, and teammate Dejahown Freeman contributed nine.

                                                   

Auburn coach Bryan Ott said his team played with a chip on their shoulder. ‘‘We lost twice to Proviso East and we wanted to leave here on a positive note,” Ott said. ‘‘We know how people view us and we used that as motivation to beat a very good Bloom team.’’

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IL Boys 3A Championship game: Peoria 72, North Chicago 64

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


March 15, 2012

PEORIA— The one two punch of North Chicago, Aaron Simpson and JaVairius Amos-Mays just wasn’t enough to win the Class 3A State title, as Peoria wins 72-67.

“That (a state championship) would have been a good accomplishment, but me and the other seniors did a great job leading the team down here and preparing the younger guys for the future,” Simpson said.

North Chicago would not let Peoria Central pull away, and there were times during its second-half comeback attempt Simpson let Amos-Mays (17 points, eight rebounds) do his thing, but Simpson was able to knock down his season average of 26 in the contest.

“They’ve seen what Simpson did with the team and the leadership he showed,” North Chicago coach Gerald Coleman said. “They looked up to him and learned from him. They saw what it was like to play at a high level, and we look forward to getting ready for the summer and trying to come back down here again.”

Peoria was led by Aldonis Foote, who had 17 points, followed by Trey Kellum who added 14.

Congratulation to Peoria Central on winning the 2012 Boys 3A State title.

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IL Boys 3A Third Place: Hillcrest 72, Lanphier 67

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 17, 2012

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Both teams come in to this game a little short of playing for the Boys Class 3A title. Hillcrest lost to Peoria 60-50, and Lanphier lost to North Chicago 57-50.

In this consolation contest, Hillcrest was able to do enough for the 72-65 victory over Springfield Lanphier.

Outside of an errand, early shot to end the half, the Hawks finally are playing their style of game shooting over 50%, compared to the Lions who shot less than 40%. In addition, the Hawks attacked the basket and often.

The Hawks held a lead as much as 17, but the Lions were able to erase some of that lead and get it back down to single digits with the play of senior Jaylen Briggity (9), who scored back to back times sprinting down the court in the third. But each time, the Hawks answered and held them off.

      

In this case, it was a basket by Jalen Loving and two free throws by Jayon’e Troutman that sealed the win for the Hawks.

“We had our pity party at dinner last night and they got it out of their system and realized that there was more basketball to be played,” Hillcrest coach Don Houston said. “We were in the Final Four of the state and we have a lot of things to look forward to in the future.”

Loving had a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with his 17 points, and Brent Buchanan led the way with 15 points, followed by Jayon’e Troutman. Jalen Loving also snagged 13 boards for a double-double.

“Our girls lost the same way we did in their opening semifinal game, but they fought back to bring home the third-place trophy,’’ Hillcrest senior Jalen Loving said, ‘‘and we wanted to do the same thing.’’

On the other side of the ball, the Lions were led by Larry Austin who knocked down 16, followed by T.J. Davis who added 15 off the bench.  Lions coach Chuck Shanklin said it was Hillcrest’s length and athleticism that caused problems.

“They are tall, long and they are quick,” Shanklin said. “Our pressure did not get to them and they were able to pass over anything we were trying to do. Our hats go off to them. They are a great team. I am proud of my team’s effort and what we accomplished this season.”


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IL Boys 4A semifinals: Bloom vs Simeon

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 15, 2012


PEORIA — Bloom did everything right against top-ranked Simeon in the Illinois Boys 4A semifinal contest except win as they fall 45-35.

Coming into the game, the plan was to hold junior phenom Jabari Parker in control… done!

Control the tempo of the game… done!

Pressure the ball in the back court and double whenever possible without leaving a player clearly open… check!

The only uncheck mark left was win…. uncheck!

This is one of the only teams to hold Parker without field goal in the first half of a game.

“They were expecting to play us their way, and they did,” said Parker, who finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks. “They slowed it down and face-guarded me the whole game.”

A bright spot for the Wolverines was junior guard, Kendrick Nunn, who shot pretty well but he covered Bloom’s Donald Moore very well. Nunn was able to keep him from penetrating and having his way, and when he did get in the lane, Parker, Steve Taylor or Kendall Pollard were there to swat his shot away.

Moore’s first successful jumper was a 3-pointer that brought the Blazing Trojans within 36-34 with 2
minutes, 24 seconds remaining.

Then Parker countered on the other end, getting fouled on a mid-range jumper and completing the three-point play to make it 39-34 with 1:58 left.

“I want to give Bloom a lot of credit,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “They pushed us to the limit. I thought they out-toughed us. We came up with some key plays down. From my aspect, I really thought we should have lost the game.”

Lejavius Johnson led all players with 18 points. Taylor led the Wolverines with 13, followed by Jaylon Tate, who added 11.

The Wolverines (32-1) will face unbeaten Proviso East (32-0) in a heavyweight Illinois Boys 4A instant classic Saturday night at 8:15 pm.

Simeon and Proviso East have been ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, since the preseason.

“Going into Proviso, I need to find better ways to get my teammates open and get shots for myself,” said Parker. “This is a bad time to be messing up. We just have to tweak some things and get back to the blueprint.”

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IL Boys 4A semifinals: Proviso East vs Rockford Auburn

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


March 15, 2012

PEORIA — Talk about an ugly – scratch that… an unattractive win for Proviso East over Rockford Auburn 55-45 in the Boys 4A semifinals game at Carver Arena. This ended Auburn’s 22-game winning streak dating back to the Pirates’ 75-56 victory over the Knights at the Proviso West tournament on Dec. 29.

The Knights missed its first 10 3-pointers en route to finishing 3-for-16 from downtown and committed, gulp, 24 turnovers and finished the game shooting  17-for-51 from the floor and 8-for-18 from the free-throw line.

“I don’t think we’ve turned it over 24 times in the last five or six years,” Auburn coach Bryan Ott said.

Now don’t think the Pirates played a lot better… they shot 37.9% from the floor, 22.2% from behind the arc and 43.8% from the charity stripe.

Both teams combined for six points, 3-for-21 shooting from the field, 0-for-5 shooting from the line and 17 turnovers in the first quarter.

The two superstars for both team, Auburn’s Fred Van Vleet and Proviso East’s Keith Carter, combined for 3 for 17 for 8 points.

Van Vleet finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but had eight turnovers. Carter shot 2-for-12 and had six points and six boards.

Proviso East’s Sterling Brown led the way with a double-double, 13 points, 15 rebounds, followed by teammate, Paris Burns, who added 14 points.

“I just wanted to come out aggressive,” Brown said. “I had seen the guards were struggling, and I wanted to get my team in a rhythm like (the guards) usually do.”

I guess in the end it’s more important to have a date for the BIG dance, than what you drove to get there in….

With their win, and hopefully Simeon defeats Bloom, a dream, maybe even a fantasy matchup will be setup. Just the thought of this matchup made first-year Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce smile.

“I think everybody would like to see that dream matchup,” Boyce said.

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IL Boys 3A semifinals: Hillcrest vs Peoria

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 15, 2012

PEORIA – Hillcrest Hawks (24-5) came up short in the Class 3A semifinals contest against local area Peoria Central, 60-50, at Carver Arena.

Hear is a simple run down on the teams performance… the leading scorer was  Jovan Mooring, who was 0-for-8 from the field. In short, Hillcrest did not hit a single shot from the perimeter in the first 28 minutes of the game.

Hillcrest coach Don Houston said after the game, “we like to spread the ball out, but I give Jovan credit for continuing to fight through it. He’s been making shots for us all season. He makes a lot of the shots he took, but tonight they didn’t fall. I give him credit for being the player he is and just continuing to play.”

The Hawks took a quick 10-3 lead, but the next run it made came after Peoria’s lead that grew to 20 going into the fourth period. In addition, the Lions grabbed a 38-27 advantage on the boards and limited Hillcrest to 36.7 percent shooting from the field.

One huge blemish on the stat sheet for Peoria is shots from the free throw, where they are 3-13 in the first half.

Hillcrest went scoreless for almost 6 mins and their only points (4) came from FTs.

“I thought outside shooting would be important, but I know Peoria likes to pull their bigs out, and if they did pull their shot-blockers away from basket we’d have lanes to drive,” Houston said. “But it didn’t work out that way.”

Jalen Loving led Hillcrest with 16 points, followed by Jayon’e Troutman who added 13.

Aldonis Foote led Peoria Central with 21 points and 6 boards.

“We’ve got to give credit to Peoria. They have a lot of length in there, and they made us miss some shots we normally make.”

In many people’s opinion, their years team is deeper and more balanced than its 2010 Class 3A champion.

“We don’t have a dominant go-to guy,” said coach Houston in conclusion.

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IL Boys 3A semifinals: Lanphier vs North Chicago

Posted on March 16, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

March 15, 2012

PEORIA – In the first of four State semifinal games, it was North Chicago grabbing the victory over Lanphier (Springfield) 57-52 in Peoria, IL – on the campus of Bradley University. North Chicago did enough to defeat Springfield Lanphier on Friday afternoon at Carver Arena and advance to the Class 3A state finals Saturday afternoon at 2 pm against the winner of Hillcrest / Peoria up next.

The Lions (28-4) controlled the tempo in the first half and received a big performance from their sixth man, T.J. Davis, who sparked the team with a  second quarter 13-2 run and a 45-34 lead.

Davis, who finished with 15 points, made his first six shots and accounted for 11 points, five steals and three assists in the first half.

“I came off the bench and gave my team a spark,” Davis said.

Simply put, Lanpheir was able to play their style of play, crazy and fast pace in the first half, led by the play of 5-8 guard, T.J. Davis, who has 14 points and is 6 of 7 from the field and perfect from downtown (2-2). But as stated, the second half, the Warhawks slowed the tempo and gain all of the momentum, including 25-13 advantage of second chance shots. But the Warhawks (25-6) threw several defensive zones at Lions (28-4) that kept them off guard and erased an 11-point deficit right before the half.

“They didn’t adjust very well to our zone defense,” North Chicago coach Gerald Coleman said.

The Warhawks’ limited the Lions to 2-for-12 shooting in the third and embarked on a 19-2 run for a 57-51 lead.

North Chicago were led by two understudies of Aaron Simpson, who struggled: Kevante Curry who scored 16 points and 11 boards, and Kurt Hall, who added 12 points and 16 boards. Illinois-State recruit Simpson shot 4-for-20 from the floor and finished with 14 points.

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“He’s a superstar, but we have some players that can help him,” Hall said.

Simpson averages 26.3 points per game.

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