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No place like home

  • Written by Ken Karson

Spartans’ surge inches them past Mustangs

Dorothy and Toto weren’t the only ones who longed to be home.
Oak Lawn basketball players have enjoyed performing in front of Spartans fans this winter, so much so that opponents have found road wins increasingly difficult to come by. Evergreen Park was the latest foe to discover the magic Oak Lawn weaves on its own floor.
When the two South Suburban Conference Red neighbors met Friday night in a regular-season finale, the Mustangs were in control much of the way. A slew of first-half free throws boosted them into a nine-point lead by intermission, and Evergreen was still ahead by that same margin when the clock showed less than five minutes remaining in the contest.
But just when an unfavorable outcome seemed in the offing for the home team, it rallied. The Spartans allowed only two Mustangs field goals over the final 4:40, although Jordan Brown’s hoop at the 51-second mark did give Evergreen a 63-60 lead.

Bartosh

Historically speaking, we’re pretty clueless

Here’s a little secret about history: We’re not very good at it.
Oh, there are exceptions, I’m sure, but by and large the average American doesn’t put a whole lot of thought into what took place before his or her arrival on the planet. That’s neither a criticism nor an indictment, just a fact.
And usually, age plays a significant role — the younger the people, the less history is apt to mean to them. That’s somewhat understandable, seeing as how they don’t have as many personal events from which to draw comparisons between yesterday and today.
Of course, that lack of knowledge isn’t as big an educational hindrance as it once was, thanks to the advent of the Internet. Instead of having to pour over dusty volumes of the written word for hours at the library, hoping to gain enough insight to pass the next exam before everything leaks back out of our heads, we now have everything right at our fingertips. And we can customize our search down to the most minute detail.

Girls’ basketball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Lady Spartans go down fighting

With a team full of talented and hungry players to start the season, Oak Lawn coach Janet Meyers said an early goal was for her Lady Spartans to advance deeper into the postseason.
After defeating Mother McAuley for the first time in school history the previous week to win a Class 4A regional championship, Oak Lawn kept its downstate hopes alive with a thrilling 61-56 victory over Marist -- another first for the program -- in last Tuesday night’s Bloom Township Sectional semifinal. And then the Lady Spartans went toe-to-toe with defending state champion Marian Catholic in Thursday’s championship contest.
Assuredly, Oak Lawn opened the eyes of the other group of Lady Spartans, who watched a seven-point lead disappear in the final 43 seconds of regulation. Marian got the last say, emerging triumphant by a 67-62 count in overtime, but not before discovering a 28-win Oak Lawn squad was the real deal.

SXU sports summary

Cougars win CCAC men’s hoops tournament

Not one, but two surprises awaited St. Xavier University basketball fans in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournaments.
Only one was welcomed, however.
That would have been the men’s team’s upset of NAIA Division II top-ranked Cardinal Stritch on the latter’s home court. By beating the Wolves 85-74 on Saturday in Milwaukee, the Cougars not only avenged two regular-season losses, but claimed the conference tourney title for themselves.
SXU’s women weren’t as fortunate. After winning the regular-season CCAC North Division championship, the Cougars were unable to play for the tournament crown. Olivet Nazarene threw up that roadblock in Friday’s semifinal matchup, which the Tigers captured by a 91-89 score when Miranda Geever hit a runner just before the final buzzer.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Marist takes second at state team wrestling

Marist narrowly missed making it a three-peat for local schools at state team wrestling.
While Sandburg didn’t get a chance to defend its back-to-back state championships Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, the RedHawks were poised to pick up where the Eagles had left off. After collecting five wins during one six-match sequence, Marist not only fought back from a sizable deficit, but it created something similar for highly touted Oak Park-River Forest.
But the Huskies, who were without two wrestlers because of injuries and had a third dealing with the remnants of illness, climbed out of what eventually became a 15-point hole. Victories in the final two matches sealed the deal for Oak Park, which defeated Marist 31-22 for the team title.