2014-15 IHSA Basketball Tournaments

Posted on December 2, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tournaments you should check-out…

November  2014

Chicago Elite Classic


This major kick off tournament gets things started with a superb national showcase at an affordable price point in the Midwest MECCA – Chicago. Things tipoff December 5th with Oak Park-River Forest-Fenwick followed by St. Joseph-Redondo Union (Calif.) and the nightcap of Whitney Young-Southwind (Tenn.).

Now on Sunday, December 6th…. Plainfield East-Hillcrest, Bogan-Lone Peak (Utah), St. Rita-Christ the King (N.Y.) and the nightcap of Simeon-Lancaster (Texas).

For more information, click here.

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One of the most overlooked tournaments nowadays, but based on pure atmosphere, thrills, and top-performing teams, do NOT sleep on this tournament held at Rich South High School. All but one of the 16 teams are from Chicago’s South Suburbs and that team is defending Indiana Class A champion Marquette.

The complete field is as follows:
Hales Franciscan
Joliet Central
Marian Catholic (defend champions)
Marquette Catholic (Ind.)
Perspectives Charter
Rich Central
Rich East
Rich South
Seton Academy
Tinley Park
University High

And like all the other teams, they are coming to town to dethrone defending champs Marian Catholic. Tournament tips December 26 and runs through the 30.

For more information about the McDipper, click here.


Proviso West Holiday Tournament


Proviso West Holiday Tournament is always one of the premier high school basketball events in the Chicagoland area, and this year, they slimmed back down from 32 teams to 18.

The field of 18 teams in the 54th annual tournament is still extremely strong, though two-time defending 3A champ Morgan Park is no longer at Proviso West. Coach Nick Irvin’s Mustangs lost in the championship game of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament last year and decided to move on to something new.

On the other hand, Stevenson, led by Player of the Year favorite Jalen Brunson, will be the headliner as the returning champ, while several other teams that will certainly be ranked when the season tips off in November include St. Joseph, St. Rita, Kenwood and Rockford Auburn.

In addition to the host school, Proviso West, the tournament field also includes Fenwick, Morton, Proviso East, Uplift, Maine South, Hinsdale Central, Providence St. Mel, St. Viator, New Trier, Homewood-Flossmoor, Hillcrest and Brooks.

The tournament will tip off with two games on Dec. 20, followed by eight games on Dec. 22 and nine games on Dec. 23. The tournament will continue Dec. 26 and conclude Dec. 27 with consolation championship, third-place and championship games.

For more, visit PWHoops by clicking here.


City-Suburban Showdown

As it is being reported that this showcase puts top local recognized teams such as Stevenson against Simeon in a possible State Finals. Stevenson beat Simeon in last year’s event after Simeon beat Stevenson in the 2012 Class 4A final. The opening act features All-State forward Evan Boudreaux and Lake Forest against underrated point guard David Sachs and Highland Park. Everything tips February 21 at Niles West.


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IHSA Week 4 Recap

Posted on September 20, 2014. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Separation week….


This week, many team are trying to separate themselves from the pack… who were successful? who wasn’t? Week 4… whew!!!!




Building Men and Women via Athletics…

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rich Central 42, Rich South 0

The Southland cross-town classic started with lots of tensions, but NOT on the field, as police presence was VERY visible at the stadium due to past tensions between the schools. On the field… no tension as the Olympians handled the Stars in a shutout.

Quarterback DaQuan Richie ran 12 yards for a touchdown and also threw a 60-yard scoring pass to DeQuan Dudley to lift visiting Rich Central (3-1) in the Southland opener for both teams. Rich South just couldn’t get anything going during the contest and fell to 1-3.

Rich East 40, Gary Roosevelt (Ind.) 6

The Rockets red glare went bursting in the air on Saturday afternoon as Rich East knock off Panthers 40-6 as thunderstorms rolled in. The first Rockets’ TD was set up by a blocked Roosevelt punt. B.J. Stewart scored from 4 yards out for East and then scored again with a 48-yarder on the next possession.

“It was a good victory for us. We came out and executed a few things well,” said Rich East coach Barry Reade, who also got two TDs each from Marcel McDonald and Kendall Miller. “We ran the ball well and got a few turnovers on defense. We did what we came here to do, which is win [going] interconference play next week.”

Defensively, Rich East (4-0) held Roosevelt to only 56 yards and two first downs in the two quarters. The first came with 3:15 left in the half, the second produced a 15-yard passing TD for Roosevelt (1-3), with Young hitting Ronald White Jr.

Loyola 42, Fenwick 0

Loyola (3-1) scored on its first two possessions, both scores set up with the run, to race out to an early 14-0 and NEVER locked back. Junior Dara Laja gained 29 yards on his first carry and finished with 135 of his game-best 147 yards in the first half. On the Ramblers’ second series, they ran the ball all 10 plays, with senior Cal Falkenhayn scoring from one yard out. Laja carried the ball seven consecutive times for 70 yards on the drive

Friday, September 19, 2014

St. Rita 23, Mount Carmel 21

Crosstown rivalry like none other as the Mustangs grabbed the lead early but fault back against the Caravan winning 23-21 in front of a jammed pack stadium Friday night.

Things got started with an acrobatic 43-yard touchdown catch by Lee from a pass from C.J. Weydeman to go up 7-0. Then they struck again with a little more than 8 minutes in the second on a Brandon Gaston 25-yard TD pass to Dion Bobo.

St Rita had a 14-0 lead, but you know the Caravan were going to adjust and make a run which including three lead changes in the final 6 minutes of the game.

They got on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run by A.J. Lewis, who finished with 17 carries, 83 yards, with 14.9 seconds left in the first half. Anthony Ries tied it at 14 with a 4-yard scoring run at 5:18 of the third quarter. And they took the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Anthony Thompson (6 of 12, 74 yards) to Demetrius Lewis with 2:01 remaining.

But when the Mustangs kicker Bailey Marth, who missed an extra point after St. Rita’s go-ahead touchdown with under six minutes to go, but he redeemed himself with just 23.1 seconds left to play by kicking the winning field goal from  about 30 yards out.

Mustangs quarterback Weydeman completed 12 of 29 passes for 194 yards, including that touchdown pass to Lee. And Gaston threw a touchdown pass in the first half before running for the go-ahead score at 5:55 of the fourth.

“We were fine,” Gaston said of Mount Carmel’s comeback. “It was just our team chemistry was off a little bit. We’re all brothers. We all will come together in the end to make it up.”

The Caravan had one last chance, but ran out of time at the St. Rita 39. This is the first time they are 1-3 under coach Frank Lenti’s tenure.

“We did everything we possibly could do wrong in the first half,” Lenti said. “You’ve got to say our kids showed a lot of character coming back from 14-0 down and taking the lead in the last few minutes.”

A bright spot is Mount Carmel’s (1-3, 0-2) defense held St. Rita’s Tyre Lee — who was coming off back-to-back 200-yard rushing games against Dunbar and Montini — to 48 yards on 17 carries.

And if you thought St. Rita used everything in the playbook Friday night, wide receiver Gaston has some news.

“We’ve still got a couple more up our sleeve,” Gaston said after throwing for one touchdown and running for another in a stirring 23-21 Catholic League Blue home win over Mount Carmel.


Richards 46, Oak Lawn 21

Who throws a screen on third and long (22)? The Bulldogs…. as they executed the perfect screen from Hasan Muhammad-Rogers to Pat Doyle turned into a 65-yard touchdown and a 26-0 lead. Richards went on to post a 46-21 South Suburban Red road win over Oak Lawn on Friday.

“I thought we played a good first half, did a lot of good things, then got complacent,” Richards coach Tony Sheehan said. “We have to learn to put the hammer down.”

Muhammad-Rogers completed 14-of-21 passes for 273 yards.



Carmel 41, Marian Catholic 0

Carmel (2-2, 1-1): Noah Turner 56-yard TD reception, 55-yard TD reception; Rondel Jamison 51-yard TD reception, 20-yard run for TD; Michael Huiras 2 TDs

T.F. South 32, Bremen 0

T.F. South (2-2, 1-1): Devon Cathcart 45-yard TD reception, 3 sacks, tackle for safety; Sterling Smith 2 TDs

Shepard 41, Hillcrest 14

Shepard (2-2): Demetrius Harrison 23 carries, 173 yards, 2 TDs.



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IHSA Week 3 Recap

Posted on September 13, 2014. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Another good solid week of high school football


Week 3 had all of the excitement we predicted with the exception of Mother Nature, who slow pours rain over our coverage area most of the evening making it feel like, November instead of September 12…


Nonetheless, the student-athletes buckled down and played their games.




Building Men and Women via Athletics…

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vikings roll over J.W.

Homewood-Flossmoor scored in just about every facet of football… ground, air and on defense Saturday against Joliet West as shut them out 41-0.

In fact, they put up three touchdowns in the first 10 minutes of play.

Deante Harley-Hampton opened the scoring on a 41-yard run less than a minute into the game. Bryce Gray completed a 38-yard pass to Kendric Pryor for a 14-0 lead two plays before the interception return made it 20-0.

Gray also found tight end James Sheehan on two second-quarter touchdowns, an 11-yarder followed by a 5-yard connection and a 34-0 lead 56 seconds before halftime. Gray finished the game 15-of-24 for 270 yards and four touchdowns before being rested as the game was in control in the third quarter.

“It felt real good getting a shutout,’’ defensive lineman Zackery Eastling said. “Playing hard, running hard, trying to make tackles. No missed tackles. You’ve got to make every tackle.’’

Full dominance for the Vikings (2-1, 1-0) Saturday as they face Joliet Central next week.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Celtics outplay Caravan with a 33-14 victory.

Providence scored early and often against foe Mount Carmel. Who would have thought this game, out of all games, would have been decided technical at half time, as the Celtics jumped out to a solid, well-played 17-0 lead.


The hometeam, Celtics, helped themselves on several plays including a 19-yard run by Sean Diehl and a 9-yard touchdown toss from Justin Hunniford to Miles Boykin. On the ensuing kickoff, it was fumbled by the Caravan before Providence recovered at Caravan 18. Three plays later Eduardo Favela kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 10-0.

Mount Carmel was able to move the ball to the Providence 21 on its next drive, but it ended in more frustration when Anthony Thompson’s fourth-down pass was dropped in the end zone.

Right before half, on a routine QB flip-pass to the running back, it was picked off by Nick Wheeler, who took it in for the Caravan’s first score, which left two-seconds on the clock.


Notre Dame recruit sending signal to Hunniford while setting up Mount Carmel for touchdown pass

In the second half, the Caravan just couldn’t find it’s stride after the big play that ended the half, as the Celtics went up 24-6 after a fourth and short pass from Hunniford to Boykin. Hunniford finished the game 17-of-23 for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Two of them were caught by Notre Dame-recruit receiver, Boykin, who finished the game with 7 catches for 57 yards, and the third by Richie Warfield.

A bright spot for the Caravan was a fourth-quarter 16-yard run and conversion catch by Avery Safford. This was setup by finally a pass by Anthony Thompson for more than 12 yards to senior receiver Nik Giles.

“We did some of the things we wanted to do,” Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti said. “We possessed the ball, but we dropped a touchdown pass and dropped a kick. They have a very fine football team. A lot of ways they outplayed us.”

The Caravan take on cross-town rival St. Rita next Friday night, while Providence host Marmion.


The Crusaders knocked off the Ramblers

The Crusaders mustered little offensively but scored 13 points off turnovers and managed to contain a stagnant Loyola offense in a 16-13 Catholic League Blue victory. It was Brother Rice’s first win against Loyola since 2008.

“It just came down to hard work, all week in practice. We gave everything we had tonight and got the ‘W,’ ” quarterback Alex Alarcon said. “I know what people thought about our chances tonight. But that just made us work harder in practice.”

Crusaders did just enough on Friday night to to seal the deal even after having on 8 total yards of offense in the first half.

In the second half, things changed with Mike Kubil recovered a fumble at Loyolas’ 2 yard line, which setup a score by Marcus Jones, who ran it in for a 13-6 lead. Alex Alarcon’s 38-yard “jump ball” to Ricky Smalling helped set up Pikowski’s 21-yard field goal and a 16-6 lead. Brother Rice let go of this lead even whenthe Ramblers scored late.

Alarcon finished the game going 8-for-18, 91 yards, and Loyola’s D.J. Melsheimer went 9-for-21, 137 yards and one TD.




Richards shuts out Shepard 33-0


Defense was everywhere for Richards Friday night as Shepard finished the game with a total of minus-5 yards of offense. Linebacker Ramonta Hill was part of the FULL blast charged which stopped conference foe.

“As a team, we hate losing,” Hill said. “It brings us down as a team because we know we have to fix this. We can’t have mistakes. That was a big loss for us, and it motivated us.”

Hill and Chris Casey combined to force the Shepard fumble on the first drive, with Tyler Demma falling on the loose ball. Two plays later, Romeo Johnson punched it in from three yards out to open the scoring.

The conference victory came after a disappointing three-point Week 2 loss at Geneva. For Hill and Co., that’s all the motivation they needed.

“We thought we gave Geneva the game,” Richards coach Tony Sheehan said. “We harped all week that the little things will kill us. We made mistakes we need to clean up (Friday), but we’re still waiting to get our whole team out there.”

Now offensively, Hasan Muhammad-Rogers put on a show of his own, throwing for 107 yards and two scores while also rushing 15 times for 121 yards and a TD, a 1-yard keeper.

“We wanted to show everyone what Bulldog football really is,” Muhammad-Rogers said. “The defense flew all over the field, and that’s fun to watch. Offensively, we wanted to establish ourselves and show what we’re made of.”


Lemont continues winning

The Indians scored on both sides of the ball to shut out T.F. South Friday night 35-0 in their South Suburban Blue opener.

For example, Hunter LaDuke scored on a 12-yard fumble recovery 52 seconds into the the third quarter, and Flynn Nagel added a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown less than two minutes later.

“We came out and hit harder than them, ran faster than them and made improvements from last week and the week before,” LaDuke said. “We’re not that big of a defense. The tallest kid on the team is 6-foot, 6–1 tops. The intensity is where we had them.”

Nagel, a Duke recruit, caught two passes for 18 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown from Ryan Dawson to make it 28–0 after his punt return for a score.

“I caught a bunch of blocks on that return, and I only had to break one tackle,” Nagel said.

Lemont coach Bret Kooi played under Padjen at T.F. South and said it was a distinctive moment to play against his former coach.

“I tried to keep it low profile with the kids, but it was a special moment for me,” Kooi said. “How many opportunities do you get to coach against a guy who coached you when you were younger and was a big influence on what you did?”

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2014 IHSA State 3A/4A Finals

Posted on March 23, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014 Boys State finals are in the books…

March 22, 2014

In short, what a weekend… in some cases, it felt like a well-written independent film that got a lot of buzz during pre-screening, in others, it felt like a Tyler Perry movie, where a third of the way through it, you knew the ending, but sat threw it.

Overall, it was entertaining and amateur sports at it’s best!


IHSA BOYS Class 3A CHAMPIONSHIP: Morgan Park 59, Lincoln 49

R-E-P-E-A-T for Chicago Public School’s Morgan Park (24-6) as they defeated Lincoln 59-49. There guard play is so underrated that, well, on this big stage, they led the way. It was the sophomore Charlie Moore and Jarrin Randall show. YUP, sophomores!

Under a nine-point deficit at the half, the Mustangs came out with more urgency as Randall hit a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to one with a little more than 7 minutes. Shortly after that he tossed a soft pass to Moore who nailed a 3 that tied the score at 41 with 6:52 left. These shots came during a 26-2 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters.

“A lot of people said my sophomores can’t come through,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “I decided to take a gamble and they came through.”
Moore finished the championship game with 12 points, while Randall added eight.

“I didn’t feel any pressure,” Moore said after the game. “(Billy) Garrett (former Mustang now playing at DePaul) taught me a lot last year. This win feels so great. It wouldn’t hurt to come back here.”

Big man, 6’8″ Josh Cunningham, had the high-score of 13 for the Mustangs.
On the other side of the ball, Gavin Block, led Lincoln (34-3) with 19 points.

See the box score provided by Amateur Sports News Network & MaxPreps by click here.

IHSA BOYS Class 4A Third Place: Orr 55, Rockford Luthern 45


IHSA BOYS Class 4A Third Place: Stevenson 70, Edwardsville 63

Talk about a drama filled Third place game…. WHEW!!!!

As reporters, fans and even players heard about the early news from the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), that junior phenom, Jalen Brunson was suspended from the third place contest, the atmosphere was totally buzzing during pregame and opinions were flying. Why? A low-quality photo of Brunson appearing to make a middle-fingered gesture during his record-setting 56-point performance and loss to Young in the 4A semifinal game circulated on Twitter after the game.

After the contest, Brunson took to the social media to apologize for “the hand gestures towards the end of the game – completely an accident just frustration.” And followed up with clarification that he had apologized for the appearance of the image, but he said he “did not do what was portrayed.”

With sportsmanship being paramount for any stage under the IHSA umbrella, executive director Marty Hickman decided to suspend the star junior.

IHSA-Statement-Brunsonclick to read

Then, Stevenson high school appealed to the board of directors, which overturned Hickman’s decision.

In the end, Brunson played, Stevenson won, and IHSA had no comment after initial statement.


The Patriots defeated the Tigers 70-63 in the Class 4A third-place game at Carver Arena.

One night before, Brunson scored a state-finals record 56 points Friday against Young in the loss, and tonight, his play was visible, but not as many points (18). It was senior Matt Morrissey who played big under the circumstances and his final high school game as he was 4-7 from teh behind teh arc and finished with 16 points. Teammate Connor Cashaw added 17, followed by Matt Johnson who contributed 10 and five steals.

“We had a tough night shooting (Friday),” Morrissey said. “It was a good day for all of us (today). It was good way for me to go out.”

Edwardsville was led by senior guard Trevor Clay, who knocked down 21 points and snagged 8 rebounds, followed by Armon Fletcher, who added 15 points.

When asked after the game, Brunson, who has no history of behavior issues on or off the court, did not want to discuss the incident Saturday night. He was also asked whether he was concerned people were going to get the wrong idea about him.


“I know who I am and who I have around me,” Brunson said. “It is going to be an up-and-down ride through life. This is different but I think I’m handling myself pretty well, and the people who are supporting me know the real me. I think once this clears out I’ll be fine.”

A WORD FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: When Photos Lie: Sticking Up for Jalen Brunson ~click here


His father, and former NBA player Rick Brunson, warned his son about the potential pitfalls of social media, and in this case it was Twitter.

“I’ve told that guy about Twitter,” Rick Brunson said. “Stay off Twitter. Now I have something to say, ‘I told you.’ Every day is a learning experience. If he learns from this, great.”

Overall, his father sees the ordeal as a learning experience.

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IHSA BOYS Class 4A CHAMPIONSHIP: Young 46, Benet 44


This was a Whitney Young type of season as both the Girls and Boys win State championships. The Boys defeated Benet 46-44 to win their first state title since 2009.

Chicago Public Schools have dominated the last six Class 4A titles between Young and Simeon, they have won all of them during this period. And on top of that, the Public League swept the 3A and 4A tournaments for the second straight year.


Going into the game, we all wanted to see the number one player in the country, Jahlil Okafor, go up against another big man in the state, Sean O’Mara. Well, they battled but it was Miles Reynolds who performed on this stage, knocking down 19 points and keeping the Dolphins ahead all night.

Reynolds, a St. Louis recruit, had the hot hand early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring eight first-quarter points to stake the Dolphins (29-5) to an 18-10 lead.


“Jahlil made it real easy for me tonight,” Reynolds said. “He was getting doubled all night. Jahlil and Sean O’Mara was supposed to be a great match-up but it didn’t live up to some of the expectations because both teams play great defense. I knew it would be my night.”

The RedWings (25-8) trailed by 10 at the half and never drew even, but they did managed to make things interesting during the last two minutes as then went on an 8-0 run cut Young’s lead to 44-42 with 24 seconds to play.

But another Division-1 one recruit, Paul White, Georgetown, answered with two clutch free throws five seconds later, and Young did not have to inbound the ball after Benet’s Liam Nelligan made it 46-44 with five seconds left. White finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

“It was down to one game, and it was a hard battle to come out on top,” Okafor said. “Me, Paul and Miles came in together as freshmen, and to finally do it as seniors, it’s all we wanted. I heard Sean O’Mara on an interview last night; he said he was hoping for some one-on-one. I figured that would mean they would match up. I was a little disappointed they were helping out. I just tried to keep my composure, and Miles did a great job leading us.”

Okafor finished the game with 8 points and 6 rebounds. Colin Bonnett led the RedWings with 12 points and 6 rebounds, while  O’Mara had 8 points and 8 rebounds.

IHSA Girls State Finals
Class 4A Champs
Young 60, Rolling Meadows 44

Class 4A third place
Marian Catholic 45, Geneva 34

Class 3A Championship
Montini 57, Joliet Cath 44

Class 3A third place
Quincy Notre Dame 64, Burlington Central 40

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2014 Girls 4A State Finals

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s March which means it’s State Finals Time…

March 8, 2014 – updated

March 7, 2014


Four teams came down…. two are left to play for the Title!

Rolling Meadows 44, Whitney Young 60 (title game)

The tip that started the Girls Class 4A championship…

NORMAL, Ill. — It was a sophomore who led them to this years’ championship – none other than 5’8″ Kiara Lewis, who secured the Class 4A girls basketball state championship Saturday evening and their third state championship and second in three years.
She knocked down 20 points and was 8-for-13 from the field, including perfect from the charity stripe.

Lewis scored seven points in the third quarter and her 3-pointer and assist to Taylor Malone on the ensuing possessions gave the Dolphins a 40-24 lead. During this period, they never looked back.
“I just came out real intense and I wanted a state championship after what happened last year and not being able to play,” Lewis said. “I came out strong. The whole weekend we came out fast and strong.”

What a fantastic way to end this season especially as Lewis missed all of last season with a knee injury.

“She was huge for our team this year and today,” Young coach Corry Irvin shared about Lewis. “As a team, I thought our defense on Alexis (Glasgow) was huge, and Jackie (Kemph) had to work extra hard to get shots off.”

On the other side of the ball, the Mustangs (29-5), senior Jenny Vliet, played her heart out keeping them in the game as best she could. They even received a surprised gift when Texas A&M recruit, Khaalia Hillsman fouled out on a normal foul (her fourth) then she received a quick technical. This all occurred with a little more than 4 minutes left in regulations, but the Mustangs couldn’t capitalize only scoring just two points the rest of the game.

Vilet finished the game with the game-high of 21 points to go with 10 boards.
“I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say they’ll be the best group that I’ll ever coach,” Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. “It will probably be the best group to go through Rolling Meadows, and maybe the Mid-Suburban League.”

The Dolphins (32-3) opened and closed this season in an ironic manner – first game (December 7) they defeated the Mustangs 54-40, defeated them tonight for state bragging rights.

FUN FACTS: To date, the Dolphins are on a 16 game winning streak.

Marian Catholic 45, Geneva 34 (third place game)

NORMAL, IL – It wasn’t perfect but it was a victory as the Spartans defeated the Vikings 45-34 in the third place state finals.
Marian Catholic stretched out to a lead and never let it go behind the play of senior, DePaul-recruit Ashton Millender, who knocked down 16 points and 7 boards.

“As a senior I was out there enjoying my last moments of playing basketball in high school,” Millender said. “We just said to forget about Friday. We can’t do anything about it, so we just have to move on and win tonight.”

But this contest was a tale of 2 halves because in the third quarter, they went super cold, and only scored three points to the Vikings 11, making the score 26-21. All of the Vikings points except two were from the free throw line.
The Vikings did get the game down to three points at the 7:40 mark in the fourth when Abby Novak nailed a couple of shots from the charity stripe making the game 26-23.

Shortly after that, sophomore guard Gabrielle Cooper knocked down a big three, 29-23. Geneva scored a field goal and Ms. Cooper did it again – nailed a needed three. This stopped the Vikings momentum and slowed down the tempo, and the Spartans will return to Chicago Heights 1-1 in this years’ state finals.

After last nights loss, this was a good win for the young team to develop from.

“I thought we got a couple of good looks, but we missed a couple of layups and some shots within the paint,” Marian coach Dan Murray said. “The biggest thing in the third quarter was that we couldn’t get into some of our pressure [defense] and it became a little bit of a half-court game, which worked to the strength of Geneva.”

Geneva was led by Abby Novak who scored 13 points.

Below are the updates from Friday – the semifinal games…

Geneva 43, Rolling Meadows 51

Nice win for the Mustangs behind the play of there three-headed monsters: Jackie Kemph (13 pts), Jenny Vilet (11 pts), and Alexis Glasgow (18 pts).
The Vikings lost some of their momentum when 6’1″ senior Sidney Santos fouled out with 2:54 left in regulation. She finished the game with 2 points and 4 assist, but her presence in the point was huge.
Rolling Meadows will face the winner of the next contest between Chicago’s Whitney Young and returning champs, Marian Catholic.


Young 60, Marian Catholic 20

In a word… thorough! What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Spartans jumped out early and often against the Dolphins, this year, TOTAL opposite as they advance to the state finals today winning 60-20 Friday night at Redbird arena.
“The feeling of last year always lingered with me, so I’m glad we were able to pull this out,” Young senior center Khaalia Hillsman said.

Marian (27-5) shot 3-for-23 and Ashton Millender was held to four points during the first half. Young made 15 of its 26 first-half shot attempts for a 35-8 edge.

Marian Catholic didn’t reach the double-digit mark until Kauai Bradley’s 3-foot running banker in the lane 44 seconds into the second half.

Kiara Lewis led all players with 15 points and 10 boards, followed by teammate Hillsman, who also had a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Dolphins will face Rolling Meadows Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. for the Girls Class 4A title. Young defeated the Mustangs 54-40 in its first game this season.

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2014 Girls 3A State Finals

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s March which means it’s State Finals Time…

March 8, 2014 – updated

March 7, 2014


Four teams came down…. two are left to play for the Title!
Montini 57, Joliet Catholic 44 (title game)

NORMAL, IL – The Broncos (34-2) shot with lots and lots of confidence from behind the arc to win this years’ Class 3A state title game against Joliet Catholic, 57-44.
They shot 11-for-20 from downtown led by Kelly Karlis, who knocked down four, and teammates Lea Kerstein and Kateri Stone tagged teamed for three each.

“We saw a tendency in their defenses, and we used our bigger kids to that side,” coach Jason Nichols said after the game. “We did a little bit of shifting to there, and our girls had easier looks off that. … We put shooter to shooter on the same side. That’s where they have a tendency to shift their smaller girls, and that’s where we shifted.”

Kerstein finished the game with 13 points, while Stone added 12.

Cross-court, senior Michigan State-recruit Jasmine Lumpkin finished the game with a double-double, 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals, but that wasn’t enough
“They shot the ball well, and when they’re shooting like that there’s nothing we can do,” Lumpkin said after the game in Normal. “They were hot and they were hitting them. They really had that corner 3 knocked down.”

The Angels (27-3) did cut the deficit to two late in the third quarter following a needed basket by Nicole Ekhomu’s, but the Broncos Kaylee Bambule and Kerstein responded by drilling back-to-back 3s to end the third.

In the end, the Angel leading scorer was sophomore Nicole Ekhomu, who scored 14 points.

FUN FACT: Montini seniors Stone, Karlis and Sara Ross wrapped up their careers with a 138-10 record.

This is Montini’s fourth Class 3A state title in five years after placing third last season, and will be moving to the Class 4A bracket beginning next season. This is due to Illinois High School Associations new success advancement formula.

Quincy Notre Dame 64, Burlington Central 40 (third place game)
NORMAL, IL – Quincy Notre Dame leaves the state finals with a win as they run past Burlington Central, 64-40, in the IHSA Girls 3A 3rd place contest Saturday afternoon.

The Raiders were led by Kristen Gengenbacher, who scored 20 points, followed by teammate Mary Beth Hugenberg, who added 19.

The Rockets were led sophomore Sam Pryor who scored 10 points. Burlington Central is the only team here at State that doesn’t start any seniors and they made this much noise? Wow, they have a very bright future ahead of them and should have a few more trips back down here.

Below are the updates from Friday – the semifinal games…

Burlington Central 26, Montini 34

NORMAL, IL – Slow game, but the Broncos did enough to hold on and advance to the IHSA State Finals behind the play of Ohio University-recruit Kelly Karlis, who scored 10 points 5 boards and 3 steals. Teammates Lea Kerstein knocked down 8 points, followed by Kaylee Bambule who added 6.

The Broncos only scored six points in 16-plus minutes spanning three quarters. Unheard of for their style of play. Then, senior guard Kateri Stone, a veteran of three previous trips to state, ended her own scoreless drought with a steal at midcourt that was followed by a layup.

Inspired by Stone’s steal, the Broncos scored seven points in 49 seconds to rally back into the contest and seal the win.

“You have to keep fighting, and we found a way to win,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “It was not pretty.”

The Broncos (33-2) will face either Joliet Catholic or Quincy Notre Dame at 2 p.m. Saturday, the program’s fourth title game appearance in five years.

On the other side of the ball, the Rockets were led by Sam Pryor who scored 11 points and 6 boards.


Joliet Catholic 70, Quincy Notre Dame 59

NORMAL, IL – This game presented lots of trivia-style questions that no one “would” have ever thought “would” happen: Would the return State Class 3A finalist, Quincy Notre Dame, come out rusty on the big stage? Would the Lady Spartans captain, Jasmine Lumpkin, who have fouled out of a State semifinals game? Or would the size of Joliet Catholic be a little more than Quincy ND could handle?

Lumpkin, a Michigan State recruit, finished the game with almost the game high as she scored 15 points and snagged 6 boards. Nicole Ekomu led the the team with 16 points, 6 boards, and 3 steals, followed by Jnaya Walker who added 15.
In the end, it was the size of the Angels that won the game, and defeat last years’ champs. They will face Montini tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. Lumpkin won a couple State Championships with them prior to this weekends festivities… should be interesting!

“I’m not shocked because of their experience in summer ball, and we never bought into that philosophy,” Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof said of his team’s youth. “I was confident. We’re 30 games into this season.”

Can the Angels win their first State title? Or, will Montini be able to win another Class 3A title?

To see there road traveled to the Illinois State semifinals… click here!

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2014 Girls State Final Preview

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

100 Days Later – 8 teams still stand – four from each class: 3A / 4A

March 6, 2014



Burlington Central (27-4) vs. Montini (32-2), 12:15 p.m.

Burlington Central is making its first appearance in the state finals, but it’s not likely to be the Rockets’ last. The Rockets’ has lots, I mean lots of young talent in the pipeline led by 6-foot sophomore Samantha Pryor, 5-8 sophomore guard Shelby Holt and 6-foot junior Alison Colby. They are facing a playoff-veteran, and State champion caliber team led by a pair of four-year players – 6-1 Kateri Stone and 6-2 Kelly Karlis – and featuring a deep and talented bench.

“Burlington Central is a nice young team that’s going to be hungry and eager to knock us off,” Nichols warned.

Joliet Catholic (27-2) vs. Quincy Notre Dame (29-3), 2 p.m.

Maybe it’s not the same team that won the Class 3A state title last year – 6-2 Jordan Frerichs and Kassidy Gengenbacher have both moved on – but there’s still enough talent at Quincy Notre Dame to make a serious bid for a fourth straight state title. The leaders of this year’s group are 5-11 senior Mary Beth Hugenberg and 5-10 senior Kristen Gengenbacher, who get a lot of help from 5-9 senior Cassidy Foley and her younger sister, freshman McKenzie Foley. Joliet Catholic has not been downstate since 1985. Quincy Notre Dame hasn’t missed since 2009. On the other side of the court, is a championship roster as well led by Michigan State-recruit Jasmine Lumpkin, who is averaging 18.3 points and 9.2 boards. And to add a little more fire power, teammate, Nicole Ekhomu, has superb court-vision orchestrating the offense and breaking down defenses. And to top it off, she’s a sophomore who’s averaging 14.3 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.8 steals per game.  This should be an exciting game.

3A players to watch: Burlington Central –- Sam Pryor, 6-0, So., F (14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds); Alison Colby, 6-0, Jr., F (8.2 points, 6.0 rebounds). Montini – Kateri Stone, 6-1, Sr., G (11.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 93 3-pointers); Kelly Karlis, 6-2, Sr., G (9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds). Joliet Catholic – Jasmine Lumpkin, 6-0, Sr., F (18.3 points, 9.2 rebounds); Nicole Ekhomu, 5-9, So. G (14.3 points, 3.0 assists, 2.8 steals). Quincy Notre Dame – Mary Beth Hugenberg, 5-11, Sr., F (16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds); Kristen Gengenbacher, 5-10, Sr., G (15.7 points, 3.5 assists).



Marian Catholic (27-4) vs. Young (30-3), 8:15p.m.

Dolphins seek revenge after being caught by the Spartans last year on the same court, same game as they loss 63-39…

Coach Corry Irvin said it plain and simple “We were horrible!”

Top-ranked Dolphins (30-3) will get a chance to avenge that loss when they face defending state champion Marian Catholic (27-4) in a Class 4A semifinal at Redbird Arena Friday at 8:15 p.m. The game will follow the 6:30 p.m. semifinal between Rolling Meadows (28-4) and Geneva (26-5).

Marian Catholic is riding a 14-game winning streak heading into the state finals. The Spartans have not lost since a 60-33 thumping at the hands of Incarnate Word (St. Louis, Mo.) back on Jan. 11, although they needed a little late heroics to turn back Oak Lawn in overtime in the sectional finals. Teniya Page and Ashton Millender have carried the offensive load for first-year coach Dan Murray.

Geneva (26-5) vs. Rolling Meadows (28-4), 6:30 p.m.

Is there a hotter team around than Geneva? The Vikings have won 14 in a row and recently got Michaela Loebel back off the DL. Grace Loberg has been a revelation for the Vikings. Since coming up to the varsity, the 6-2 freshman has averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game. But the Vikings are facing a team that has a little bit of incentive after losing in the final seconds of the 2013 state title game. “We’ve used that game as motivation,” Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph said.

4A players to watch: Geneva — Grace Loberg, 6-2, Fr., C (14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds); Morgan Seberger, 5-11, Sr., G (11.0 points, 53 3-pointers). Rolling Meadows — Jackie Kemph, 5-6, Sr., G (21.2 points, 8.3 assists); Jenny Vliet, 6-2, Sr., F (14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds). Young — Khaalia Hillsman, 6-5, Sr., C (13.4 points, 14.4 rebounds); Kiara Lewis, 5-8, So., G (12.1 points, 8.3 assists). Marian Catholic — Ashton Millender, 5-10, Sr., G (16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 62 3-pointers); Teniya Page, 5-7, Sr., G (15.1 points, 4.7 assists).


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Posted on February 22, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Battle for the City


February 21, 2014

Coming into the game it was all about Jahlil Okafor, Duke-recruit, and Cliff Alexander, Kansas-recruit… but unknown mystery guy led his team to a four-overtime contest – Kamar Marshall.

Cliff_Alexander-Jahlil_Okafor-2014Battle of Chicago’s Best: Cliff Alexander & Jahlil Okafor

Marshall nailed a 3-pointer with .9 seconds left to seal the city title for the Condors (24-1), 69-66 over Young. This was his fifth of the entire season and none bigger.

Another Curie teammate, Joe Stamps, hijacked to the contest and made his name heard primarily in the first half as he added a grand total of 24 points.

A big turn in the contest was when Okafor fouled out early in the fourth, and you just knew Young was done, but that’s why you play the game and think ‘next man up.’ He finished with 16 points and nine boards.

“(Okafor) got in some bad foul situations, so he wasn’t able to be on the floor,” Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “I don’t know what else to say. I think he was extremely effective when he was in there. I think if he plays 16 more minutes we have a good chance to win.”

On the other hand, Alexander wasn’t able to completely capitalize on Okafor’s absence, including giving up a 6-point lead in the final 30-seconds of regulation, but his presence alone makes a difference. Young had to double-down on him constantly leaving other players wide open, or giving them the option to slash to the paint. He finished the contest with 20 points, 14 boards and four blocks.

“I got kind of scared when Joe (Stamps) fouled out (in the fourth OT), but I had faith in Kamar,” Alexander said. “I told him if he’s open to shoot, and he did. We all had confidence in him.”
Rodney Herenton hit a 3-pointer to bring Young (21-6) within 53-50 with 27.7 seconds left, and after a pair of misses by Stamps, Mile Reynolds buried a clutch 3-pointer off a called play with four seconds showing.

Paul White played really big for Young, and finished with 19 points, followed by Reynolds, who added 13.

Check out the box score provided us, AmateurSports365.com, care of Maxpreps. Qwicore

In case you missed this instant classic, click here to replay. espn-watch

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IHSA new ball

Posted on January 16, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Football, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Illinois High School Association selects a new ball…

January 13, 2014

After five years of using Baden balls for IHSA state series events, Wilson balls will soon come off the shelf and back into the playing field for Illinois high school playoff events.

The IHSA board of directors approved a new ball contract during its Monday meeting. Wilson footballs, basketballs, baseballs, softballs and golf balls had been used during state series events from 1994 to 2009, when Baden took over the state contract.

The new agreement to use Wilson balls will take effect at the start of the 2014-15 school year. Schools are not required to use only Baden or Wilson balls for regular-season competition, but many choose to use the official ball anyway to prepare for postseason play.


The new contract with Wilson lasts for 10 years and will expire after the 2023-24 school year.

“We are appreciative of the quality and professionalism that Baden provided the IHSA and its member schools over the past five years,” IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said in a statement. “We also want to thank all the ball companies who took the time and resources to submit bids for this current contract. There were several strong bids from quality companies, which made for a difficult decision.”

To read more about the change, click here.

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IHSA Football Rules for 2014

Posted on January 16, 2014. Filed under: Boys High School Basketball, Football, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

New Rules IHSA style…

January 8, 2014

The Illinois High School Association announced Wednesday, January 8, “eleven” changes to its by-laws, including a two-day head start on football practice beginning in the fall.

IHSA rules stipulated that football practice could begin the Wednesday of week six of its athletic calendar. Week six of that calendar normally falls during the second full week of August. The first day of football practice had been scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2014. The new start date is Monday, Aug. 12. Friday, Aug. 30 will remain the first day for football games.


Among other IHSA by-law changes was the removal of the one-year ineligibility period for transfer students “enrolling in his or her home boundaried public school for the first time.” Another rule change called for written approval from affected conferences to renew co-op agreements.

One change outlawed contact between coaches and student-athletes the week of July 4. Summer baseball and softball coaches are not affected by the “dead week” rule, which takes effect in 2015.

IHSA member schools also approved of an official change to the travel policy, which now will allow each team to make two trips of unlimited distance each season as long as no more than two school days are missed for each trip. That proposal will become a by-law Feb. 7.

Head coaches also have to watch the IHSA‘s mandatory rules video to avoid probation or suspension.


Every rule change other than the travel policy and “dead week” will take effect July 1.

For the details, click here.

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