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Doing it on the run

  • Written by Ken Karson

Fast-paced Chargers regain winning ways

  Stagg ran away from its troubles last week.
  Not that the Chargers’ basketball world had crumbled around them, but there was a definite sense of unrest. Consecutive SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue losses to Lockport and Sandburg had set the backward thinking in motion, and among those who were questioning what exactly was happening was Stagg coach John Daniels.
  A few lackluster practice sessions by his guys mixed in between those two contests did nothing to alleviate Daniels’ fears that the Chargers could very easily render meaningless a superb start to the season. So he chose to address his points of concern directly to the players.
  “We talked a lot about chemistry and teamwork,” Daniels said. “And we went back to some fundamentals and drills we do at the beginning of the season, like footwork drills.”
  Those Stagg feet got a workout against both Argo and Joliet Central in a pair of fast-paced matchups on Tuesday and Friday, respectively, and Daniels couldn’t have been happier about that turn of events.

Rebuffing rival, then Roadrunners

  • Written by Ken Karson

RedHawks respond well to pair of challenges

  The only thing that tops defeating an archrival is beating the very next opponent on the schedule.
  That’s not always the easiest assignment for a sports team. So much energy and emotion typically gets poured into a showdown game that athletes on the winning side tend to have difficultly stepping out from under the glow of gratification.
  Such a worry may have crossed Marist coach Gene Nolan’s mind in the aftermath of his squad’s 52-40 victory over neighborhood foe Brother Rice last Tuesday in Mount Greenwood. Admittedly, Nolan, having played in a few of those bragging-rights contests himself, didn’t attempt to downplay the RedHawks’ success against the Crusaders.
  “Obviously, the win on Tuesday was a great win when you think about Brother Rice and how great they are,” he said. “It was a meaningful win for us.”
  But Nolan also desired another one on Friday, when Marist re-entered the East Suburban Catholic Conference fray to tangle with Nazareth Academy. He got it, but not without periods of struggle.
  The Roadrunners were tied at 50 with the RedHawks 2½ minutes into the fourth quarter, and Nazareth was still within four points almost three minutes later. Chamar Hawkins finally gave Marist some breathing room by hitting a floater and then a layup on consecutive possessions.

Welcome to the late show

  • Written by Ken Karson

Fourth-quarter rally boosts Astros over Mustangs

  Shepard was better late than ever Friday night.
  Seemingly destined for an unpleasant result at Evergreen Park, the Astros not only refused to go down quietly, they declined to succumb at all to the Mustangs. Aided by some crucial misses at the foul line by Evergreen and a few Mustangs turnovers as well, Shepard rallied with a 21-point closing quarter.
  That output, which represented 70 percent of the Astros’ scoring total through the first three periods, was just enough to boost them to a 51-48 victory and inch them closer to the top of the South Suburban Conference Red. Shepard (8-9, 5-3) was just one game behind front-running Richards entering the current week, a margin that also got reduced by the Bulldogs’ conference loss at Argo last Friday.

Day of (Hoops) reckoning

  • Written by Ken Karson

Eagles overcome Crete-Monee in 2 OT 

  A day of hoops ultimately became a day of reckoning for Crete-Monee.
  Actually, Sandburg made sure the Warriors’ entire experience at Joliet Central’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Hoops event last Monday was more nightmarish than anything else. The Eagles did that by expunging Crete’s seven-point advantage in the fourth quarter and eventually getting the last say in a 75-65 double-overtime final.
  The victory was Sandburg’s second in three days, coming on the heels of a defeat of SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue rival Stagg the Saturday before at the United Center.
  “It was a tough game to get up for,” Eagles coach Todd Allen said of the matchup with the Warriors. “We were pretty pleased to come away with the win there.”
  That success became possible after Alec Martinez’s 3-point basket put Sandburg ahead to stay less than a half-minute into the second extra session. Following that field goal, the Eagles did much of their handiwork from the foul line — they went 16-of-18 at the stripe in the two overtime periods — and managed to keep Crete at arm’s length.

Girls’ basketball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Screeching Eagles want to soar higher

  When Mt. Assisi captured its first-ever regional title last season, it was accomplished primarily by a group of players who weren’t upperclassmen.
  Now, as a half-dozen seniors among a roster of 13 prepare to compete soon in the state tournament and take aim at a second regional crown, Screeching Eagles coach Kelsey James wonders what else her club might be able to achieve in the postseason.