Watching their guarding grow

  • Written by Ken Karson

RedHawks’ defense continues to excel on eve of playoff

Marist’s “D” has rated an “A-plus” of late.
Actually, RedHawks coach Gene Nolan has long considered defense one of his basketball team’s strong suits this season, but even he was impressed with what Marist did over the last five games of its regular schedule.
During that span, every one of its foes shot less than 40 percent from the field and four of them were unable to crack the 40-point barrier. The team that did, St. Viator, managed to defeat the RedHawks, but its output in a 49-40 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory last Wednesday in Arlington Heights represented a season low for a single contest.
And the Lions were no slouch - while topping the 70-point mark in over a dozen outings this winter, they lost only once in league play and finished second to state-ranked Marian Catholic in the ESCC standings.

A last championship for Chappetto

  • Written by Ken Karson

Bulldogs coach will step down from post at season’s end

Richards’ last regular-season game had more finality attached to it than usual.
When the Bulldogs bested District 218 sister school Eisenhower 108-87 at D-Wade Court Friday night to collect an outright South Suburban Conference Red championship, it could have easily been viewed as the latest example of basketball business as usual. After all, the league crown was Richards’ ninth in a row, giving it more consecutive league titles than any other Bulldogs athletic program has ever managed.
“When you’re going through it, you get so bogged down in the negative stuff [that] you tend to lose sight of the good a lot,” Richards coach John Chappetto said. “Nine [straight] conference championships is a really good thing.”
What made it particularly special to the veteran leader was that it was also the last one he’ll enjoy as Bulldogs boss. Early last week, the 43-year-old Chappetto notified Richards athletic director Ken Styler that he would be stepping down as varsity coach at the end of this, his 12th, season. The announcement was made public on Friday.
“There’s so many factors and a million reasons why, I guess,” Chappetto said. “You put it all together and it’s time.”

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.


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.