Learning experience

  • Written by Ken Karson

Youthful RedHawks swept away by Marian

  Young teams understandably go through extended learning curves, and Marist’s 2013-14 basketball squad is no different in that regard.
  In some ways, the RedHawks seem to be on the fast track, an assertion that has legs based on their gaudy record through the schedule’s first 19 games. Even with senior Nic Weishar — unquestionably its most tested varsity performer — in and out of the lineup due to a nagging ankle injury, Marist had piled up 15 wins prior to squaring off with Marian Catholic Friday night in Chicago Heights.
  The state-ranked Spartans, however, gave the RedHawks a hard lesson at Casey Court. What Marian taught its East Suburban Catholic Conference rival was that Marist still has plenty of room to grow.
  Of course, having Tyler Ulis in their lineup made it easy for the Spartans to offer instruction. The Kentucky-bound point guard wasn’t alone, either, as Marian came at the Weishar-less RedHawks in waves.
  Down 34-21 at halftime, Marist saw any hopes for a comeback dashed in the opening minutes of the third quarter, when the Spartans went on an 11-0 tear. Josh Cohn hit two baskets, including a 3-pointer, for Marian during the run, and the hosts also pulled down five offensive rebounds in the period’s first four minutes.
  The RedHawks eventually fell behind by as many as 29 points before outscoring the Spartans 17-6 in the last frame. Still, all that did was make the final score — 57-44, in favor of Marian — more respectable.

Taming of the Tigers

  • Written by Ken Karson

Chargers stay on high road, rout Joliet West

Taming these Tigers required nothing more than a decent shooting eye and an ability to absorb plenty of contact.
Joliet West’s game plan Friday night against Stagg was pretty basic: be physical. But instead of throwing the Chargers off-balance, the strategy merely set the hosts up time and time again at the charity stripe.
A total of 29 fouls were whistled on the Tigers — Stagg coach John Daniels insisted the number probably could have been much higher — and that resulted in 32 free-throw opportunities for the Chargers. Eight of those tosses were misfired in the second quarter, which, when combined with a missed dunk and layup, allowed Joliet West to remain within five of Stagg at halftime after having trailed 18-6 early in the contest.
However, a Max Strus 3-pointer began the third period in fine fashion for the Chargers, and they eventually distanced themselves from the Tigers. With Strus and fellow senior Kevin White giving it a solid 1-2 scoring punch, Stagg pulled away for a resounding 74-54 SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue triumph that kept it rolling.
After enduring a brief mid-season dip, the Chargers (15-5, 4-3) have now won three in a row and seemingly regained a bit of the swagger they possessed at the outset of the campaign, when they reeled off eight consecutive victories.

Changes pay off

  • Written by Ken Karson

Spartans prosper with revamped lineup

In financial terms, paper money trumps change.
But a different sort of change provided a big payday for Oak Lawn last week basketball-wise. In an attempt to give his team an offensive boost, Spartans coach Jason Rhodes shuffled his lineup, inserting Joe Cosenza into it and shifting David Stacy to point guard.
“He has the ball in his hands more now,” Rhodes said of Stacy. “And Cosenza’s a real aggressive kid who’s a good shooter. He gives us just a little more scoring punch.”
And twice last week, Oak Lawn cashed in nicely on Rhodes’ decisions. In their first outing, versus Chicago Christian on Wednesday, the Spartans didn’t actually do much scoring, just enough to squeeze out a 43-42 win over the Knights.


Don’t look for the union label here

Want to start a disagreement fast? Broach the subject of labor unions with someone.
Only the most naive individual would suggest that unions weren’t a much-needed entity once upon a time. Their formation allowed American workers to rise above the sweat-shop conditions favored by most employers more than a century ago and begin enjoying workplace rights most of us now take for granted.
It’s pretty safe to say we’ve all benefited from that early unionization movement, whether we’ve ever actually joined a particular local or not. That said, however, opposition to unions has grown strong in large segments of the private sector over the years, the main complaint being the organizations’ typical reluctance to practice the dual arts of negotiation and compromise when attempting to forge labor agreements on their members’ behalf.

Girls’ basketball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Mighty Macs not to be ‘de-Nye-d’

  When Mother McAuley’s Elizabeth Nye suffered a concussion in the Mighty Macs’ recent setback against neighborhood rival Marist and was out of action for a week, it had an adverse effect on McAuley in losses to Regina, Trinity and Loyola Academy.
  But Nye was back in the lineup last Wednesday night against Hillcrest, and although it took a half for her to regain her groove as a difference-maker, the Macs were back in form themselves from the get-go as they posted a 61-54 victory over the Lady Hawks in Mount Greenwood.
  Nye, who had been limited to five first-half points, finished with 22 and seven rebounds. Molly O’Malley added 15 points, Raven Willis totaled 14 points and eight rebounds, and Erin Drynan grabbed 10 rebounds for McAuley (15-8), which had lost four of its last five games.