Piece of the action

  • Written by Ken Karson

Win over Rams nets Bulldogs SSC Red title share

Gaining a piece of the title pie didn’t give Richards coach John Chappetto peace of mind last week.
The veteran leader certainly wasn’t about to refuse the Bulldogs’ share of their latest South Suburban Conference Red crown, their ninth straight. It was guaranteed with a 63-54 win over Reavis on Tuesday.
And when Richards constructed a 34-16 advantage early in the second quarter on Friday against Oak Lawn, it appeared as if an outright conference championship was in the offing. The host Spartans, however, had other ideas.
Oak Lawn narrowed the deficit to five points by halftime, was tied with its guests after three periods and then scored 18 fourth-quarter points to claim a 67-63 victory.
“I was really happy with how we responded after a slow start,” Spartans coach Jason Rhodes said. “[Our] guys just kept playing and did good things.

White leaves them blue

  • Written by Ken Karson

Senior guard propels Stagg past Eagles, Spartans

The one-man gang has his partner back.
While Max Strus has been Stagg’s unquestioned on-court leader this winter, he was not expected to go it alone. And certainly on a number of occasions, the Chargers’ senior standout has been surrounded by productive teammates.
But Kevin White, a returning all-area player, has endured somewhat spotty performances in his final prep campaign and not consistently given Strus the kind of support necessary to keep opposing defenses honest. In truth, White has rarely operated at his physical peak, but Stagg coach John Daniels was keeping his fingers crossed that a breakthrough would occur.
And it finally did last week. White dropped in 37 points over two games and proved quite the able accomplice for Strus, who totaled 49. Their dual efforts weren’t wasted, either, as the Chargers routed Oak Lawn 64-36 in a Wednesday nonconference clash and then eased past Sandburg 66-60 in a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue contest Friday night in Orland Park.
“I think this week’s headline is, ‘Kevin is back,’” Daniels said. “He played really well. Kevin had a lot of energy and looked real healthy this [past] week, and he played for us like he did last year. If he’s moving and attacking, that’s when he’s at his best.

Chicago Catholic League Tournament

  • Written by Ken Karson

Missed opportunity

Rice comes up short in tourney finale

In the lower bracket, Brother Rice couldn’t lower the boom on Gordon Tech Saturday afternoon.

By beating St. Laurence and Seton Academy prior to that, the Crusaders had played their way into one of the championship games in the inaugural Chicago Catholic League Tournament. Being relegated to the tourney’s lower bracket didn’t diminish the desire to capture a title, and Rice had a good chance to do exactly that.
Certainly, the Crusaders’ defense was championship-worthy as it held the Rams to a 39 percent success rate from the field. The only trouble for Rice was that its own shooting was even less on-target.
The Crusaders very nearly overcame their 34 percent effort, but when Ray Rubio’s half-in, half-out shot climbed all the way out of the basket, Rice was unable to pull even with Gordon Tech in the closing moments. As a result, the Rams bagged a 42-40 triumph at the University of Chicago.

Chomping on the Gators

  • Written by Ken Karson

Knights overpower Guerin Prep to stop slide

Forget the idea that eight is enough - when it comes to losses, seven was sufficient for Chicago Christian.
That was the length of the skid the Knights brought with them into Saturday night’s Suburban Christian Conference contest versus Guerin Prep. The Gators had suffered an earlier setback to Chicago Christian, but Knights coach Kevin Pittman - who was unable to be in attendance then because of two technical fouls called on him one game before that - still felt his club had something to prove.
“We’re better now than we were, even though we haven’t had a lot to show for it,” he said.


The third time’s no charm, either

Just when you thought it was safe to re-enter the sports pages...
Getting a few things off my chest, assuming that didn’t include any of the remaining dark hairs on it, has proved cathartic over the past few weeks. Hopefully, the mention of them has helped relieve a little of your own athletics-induced frustration as well.
Of course, I realize that nothing is ever going to change. Sports in this country — especially when we’re talking about enterprises such as the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and even the NCAA—are monolithic. So much money is being made off them by team owners, major universities and professional athletes that doing anything to rock the boat that’s sailing on a clear—green revenue stream would constitute fiscal insanity.