Class 4A Eisenhower Regional

  • Written by Ken Karson

In familiar territory

Eagles’ rally too late to save them

Sandburg went down this same road one too many times.
After the regular season concluded with five straight narrow losses, Eagles coach Todd Allen thought maybe circumstances had at long last improved for his team. Last Monday’s conquest of Eisenhower in the Cardinals’ own Class 4A regional certainly seemed to offer promise - Sandburg’s defense pitched a shutout for over five minutes of the fourth quarter, which paved the way for a 77-64 triumph in Blue Island.
“I don’t know what their low [point total] for the year is, but to hold that team scoreless for [almost] six minutes [means our] guys really did a great job,” Allen said. “Once we adjusted to the quick subbing and their shooting 3s from 3 feet behind the line, we kind of got our legs under us.”

Class 3A Plano Regional

  • Written by Ken Karson

Knights say good night

JCA tops Christian in postseason opener

A good Knights work went unrewarded last Monday night.
That’s been an ongoing occurrence for Chicago Christian during the 2013-14 basketball campaign. According to coach Kevin Pittman, the Knights “improved immensely since the start of the season,” but that had relatively little positive impact on the win-loss numbers.
But a 50-44 setback to Joliet Catholic Academy carried a little more weight than usual. Seeing as how it came in the Class 3A Plano Regional, it officially marked the end of the road for Christian until next fall.

Class 4A King Regional

  • Written by Ken Karson

King(s) for the day

Jaguars usher RedHawks out of playoffs

Once upon a time, King was the scourge of the Chicago Public League.
Those halcyon days of basketball dominance are long gone, but the Jaguars proved last Tuesday in their own Class 4A regional that some fight remains within them. While 7-footers such as Rashard Griffith and Thomas Hamilton no longer roam the court attired in King’s colors, it didn’t matter when it came to subduing Marist.
The RedHawks, as expected, used another strong defensive performance to keep the Jaguars somewhat in check, but their own offense didn’t click with the kind of efficiency coach Gene Nolan would have preferred. Forty-one percent shooting, eight missed free throws — including the front end of four 1-and-1s — and 21 turnovers all loomed large in Marist’s eventual demise, which occurred by a gut-wrenching 47-46 final score.

Class 3A St. Laurence Regional

  • Written by Ken Karson

Bogan can’t be broken

Bengals overpower Vikings, win championship

One of these days maybe St. Laurence will benefit from a soft-touch semifinal.
That certainly hasn’t happened the past two years, when the Vikings won a play-in contest to earn a date with the eventual regional champion. A year ago, it was Morgan Park; this time, Bogan mowed down St. Laurence at the latter’s own Class 3A regional last Tuesday.
The Bengals outscored the Vikings in every quarter, but it was a 20-6 second period that shoved St. Laurence into an inescapable hole. That Bogan surge put the Vikings in arrears by 20 points, and they eventually suffered a 78-50 defeat in Burbank.

Class 4A Oak Lawn Regional

  • Written by Ken Karson

No more Spartan(s) existence

Rhodes’ former team ousts current one from playoffs

Something old met something new last Monday, and Jason Rhodes and his Oak Lawn players wound up feeling blue because of it.
Rhodes’ former program, Kenwood Academy, was the Spartans’ initial foe in their own Class 4A regional and he admitted the experience was “a little strange,” even though things have changed since Rhodes departed the Chicago school.
“I’m two coaches removed from the guy who’s there now,” he said. “The last group of kids I knew real well graduated last year. The one thing they’re doing is they’ve gone to more of a read-and-react offense, which is kind of similar stylistically to ours.”
Similarities were evident on the scoreboard, too, as the Broncos and Oak Lawn needed an overtime period to decide a winner. But after Josh Prince’s free throw pulled the Spartans even at the end of regulation, they could not score anymore.