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SXU sports summary

Basketball players gain postseason honors

Some good deeds do get rewarded.
While the 2013-14 men’s and women’s basketball campaigns didn’t feature the kind of postseason success that was hoped for, some St. Xavier University student-athletes nevertheless received individual storybook endings. And in a few instances, those rewards recognized them as both athletes and students.
Five Cougars, in fact, were feted for academics by being named as Daktronics Scholar-Athletes. Tabbed for honors in the NAIA Division II men’s basketball category were senior Brad Karp and junior Brandon Marren, while the trio of juniors Suzie Broski, Maloree Johnson and Morgan Stuut were similarly cited in NAIA Division II women’s hoops.
A total of 134 men and 244 women nationwide were chosen as Daktronics Scholar-Athletes. In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, have achieved junior academic status and have completed at least one year at the nominating school.
Karp carries a 3.56 cumulative GPA while majoring in biology, Marren is at 3.65 while studying history with an emphasis on secondary education, Broski and Johnson both sport perfect 4.0 GPAs while pursuing their respective degrees in biology and management/accounting, and Stuut has a 3.87 GPA as a nursing major.

Community sports news

St. Laurence looking for new basketball coach

St. Laurence is seeking a new varsity basketball coach after previous coach Mark Sevedge was not retained.
Sevedge, who recently completed his fifth season in charge of the Vikings, posted a 31-106 record during his tenure. Prior to taking over for Tom Pallerdy, Sevedge spent six years in the program as an assistant. He also played for St. Laurence in the 1990s.
“We worked hard and I’m disappointed the kids weren’t able to enjoy more success,” Sevedge said.

“I want to thank Coach Sevedge for his 11 years of dedication to the St. Laurence basketball program,” school athletic director Tim Chandler said in a statement. “A decision like this is never easy, especially with a coach who is so passionate about the school. However, I felt that a change in leadership in the basketball program was necessary for the long-term success of the program.”

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

As impressive as Sandburg’s boys’ water polo team was last week — it opened the 2014 season with three victories and scored a total of 45 goals in those matches — Eagles coach Jim Caliendo was most satisfied with his squad’s defensive effort.

Sandburg started with a 10-4 victory over Lincoln-Way North in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover match and then crushed Bremen co-op 18-2 and Hinsdale South 17-4 in nonconference encounters on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
“I’ve definitely seen what I expected on offense because of the kids that I’ve seen who have been leading the way in practice,” Caliendo said. “What I’m really pleased with is our defense.
“Our team defense has really done well against the teams we’ve played thus far. That was a little unexpected and, therefore, a nice surprise.”
Against Lincoln-Way North, Zach Roper paced the Eagles with seven goals. His five goals propelled them past Bremen, and then Roper (six goals) and Mitch Zieler (five) led the charge for Sandburg in its romp over Hinsdale. Sean McNicholas registered 11 saves in the latter match.

2013-14 All-Area Basketball Teams

BOYS: FIRST TEAM

MAX STRUS, Stagg, G/F, Sr.

  • Max StrusThe 2013-14 Player of the Year — who was mentioned by more than one opposing coach this season as the second-best player in the south suburbs behind Marian Catholic and future University of Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis — finished his prep career as the greatest basketball player in Stagg history. That’s the tag applied to Strus by veteran Chargers coach John Daniels, and it’s certainly difficult to debate the claim. After all, Strus was the top performer on Stagg’s finest single-season hoops squad, one that garnered 22 wins and came within two points of defeating four-time defending state champion Simeon for the Class 4A Shepard Regional crown. In his three full varsity campaigns, the Chargers piled up a total of 56 victories. Already a two-time all-area second-team selection, the 6-foot-6 Strus became a first-teamer by accruing per-game averages of 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists while connecting on 82 percent of his free throws and sinking 68 3-pointers. He recorded 10 double-doubles and led Stagg in every major statistical category except assists, where he was second to Kevin White, and Strus departs the program as its No. 1 man in made foul shots (241) and charges taken (31). His 1,140 career points are only 16 off Jeff Miller’s pacesetting mark and put him third overall in team scoring annals. Other notable career stats include 180 assists and 165 3s. Strus’ college destination has yet to be determined, but Illinois State, Nevada and Missouri-Kansas City universities are among his suitors.

National knockouts administered to Cougars

SXU sports summary

While there was room for St. Xavier University in both the men’s and women’s NAIA Division II basketball tournaments, neither Cougars squad will need to free up additional space in the school’s athletic trophy case.

SXU’s men did advance into the second round of play in Point Lookout, Mo., last week but No. 10-ranked Midland (Neb.) University halted the Cougars’ progress on Friday. Despite a combined 35 points from senior Brad Karp and junior Jack Krieger, the Cougars dropped a 64-61 decision to the Warriors.

The fate of SXU’s women was a little worse, seeing as how that group of Cougars was knocked out on Day 1 of their tourney. Escorting SXU off the national stage was the College of the Ozarks, which handed down a surprisingly lopsided 68-43 defeat on Thursday at the Tyson Events center in Sioux City, Iowa.

SXU’s men opened play last Wednesday versus Cincinnati Christian University and fared quite well, as they jumped out to a 19-4 advantage and eventually pocketed an 87-71 triumph at the College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Gymnasium.

“We came out playing really aggressive,” said Krieger, who tallied a game-high 22 points for the No. 6-ranked Cougars. “Everyone on our team played hard, even the guys off the bench. We had some key rebounds and forced some big turnovers, and those are the little things that helped us get such a big lead early.”

The Eagles, who were making their initial appearance in the national tournament, slipped behind 24-8 before reeling off eight unanswered markers. SXU (30-5) countered with a 20-9 burst that carried it into intermission and regained momentum for the locals. Freshman Kyle Tackett’s buzzer-beating basket capped the run.

Cincinnati Christian recovered from that latest assault, though, to get back within 10 points of the Cougars midway through the second half. Following a timeout, SXU scored twice in a row, but the Eagles refused to fold; instead, they netted 12 of the game’s next 13 points to narrow their deficit to just four points.