Losing their bite

  • Written by Ken Karson

Bulldogs scrap their way to split

  Basketball’s dog days may have already arrived at Richards.

  That’s because these assuredly aren’t the ’Dogs’ days.
  At least that was true a couple times in a busy week. Two South Suburban Conference contests, followed by a pair of encounters in Rockford Jefferson’s Martin Luther King holiday tournament proved draining to Richards, an assessment validated by its mostly uninspired performance in the second of two Saturday games.
  But the resultant 54-46 loss to the tourney hosts wasn’t the Bulldogs’ only low point. Even more frustrating to coach John Chappetto was Richards’ Friday defeat against Oak Forest, which marred the former’s heretofore spotless league ledger.

Meteor slighting

  • Written by Ken Karson

‘Resilient’ Astros knock off TF North

  Few would argue that TF North has been a South Suburban Conference stalwart in basketball ever since the league was initially formed.

  Thus, any win over the Meteors is considered a satisfying accomplishment. And, in Shepard’s case, it has also been a somewhat rare one.
  “We beat TF North two years ago at the buzzer,” Astros coach Tony Chiuccariello said, “but we don’t beat them very often.”
  The odds of Shepard reversing its fortunes Friday night in Palos Heights appeared rather long, especially since the Astros were coming off an emotionally taxing setback against TF South. What made Tuesday’s outcome difficult for Chiuccariello and his players to swallow was that, until a disastrous fourth quarter unfolded, Shepard had been in a reasonably good position to succeed.
  However, the Astros surprised Chiuccariello with a spirited practice session on Wednesday, and that energy carried over into Friday. Despite dealing with a distinct height differential that favored TF North, Shepard did enough things right to make off with a 51-42 triumph.

Flying high at the UC

  • Written by Ken Karson

Eagles soar past Chargers in Chicago

  At an arena named after an airline, it was probably appropriate that the group flying highest was the one with wings.
  The Eagles are only a nickname for Sandburg athletic teams, of course, not an actual description of roster members, but on Saturday at the United Center that moniker was dead-on accurate. In the view of Stagg coach John Daniels, the Eagles were definitely birds of prey.
  And their quarry was Daniels’ Chargers. While Stagg and Sandburg have always shared the same school district, this season they have renewed acquaintances in a conference sense as well as all Chargers squads now compete in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
  Stagg did indeed battle the Eagles on pretty even terms, at least for a while. However, a decisive third quarter gave Sandburg a huge boost, both emotionally and on the scoreboard, and the Eagles went on to log a 59-46 triumph.

Downright unneighborly

  • Written by Ken Karson

RedHawks rough up local rival St. Laurence

  Gene Nolan can empathize with what Mark Sevedge is going through during the 2013-14 basketball season.
  When he took over as head coach at Marist, Nolan’s first two clubs struggled to find success. At one juncture, the young leader joked that his career record was the worst in Illinois.
  Much has changed since then, and Nolan believes his counterpart at St. Laurence will eventually enjoy a greater number of bright moments as well. Sevedge is no hoops novice, but some of his current players are, at least from a varsity-experience standpoint, which has undoubtedly contributed to the Vikings’ difficulties.
  “They lost a lot to graduation and they’re going through that [rough] stage,” Nolan said. “It’s a testament to their kids on how hard they play. You can tell Mark and his staff are doing a great job.


Hey, what’s up with this doc?

  Maybe this is why Little Leaguers should be paid.

  If you recall, an online sportswriter suggested several months ago that those youngsters responsible for taking their baseball teams deep into the Little League World Series tournament should be compensated with more than just slaps on the backside and congratulatory shouts of “Great job!” And he wasn’t simply referring to them being eligible for triple treats at the postgame concession stand.
  No, this particular writer’s contention was that, seeing as how Little League International earns gobs of money through its World Series and the national televising of it on ESPN, the kids deserve a share of the cash. He wasn’t advocating a big payday, only a stipend, but it nevertheless seemed a bit ridiculous.
  Revisiting the idea during basketball season, I still think it’s goofy. After hearing about Alan Beck, though, my opinion now is held for a different reason.
  Suddenly, I don’t think a stipend is anywhere near adequate enough. The players should receive a much bigger slice of the TV-generated pie — say, five or six figures’ worth.
  And I’m willing to bet Joe Paris agrees with me.