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Closing in on the crown

  • Written by Ken Karson

Win over EP tightens Bulldogs’ first-place grip

  Eight was great, but nine will be even finer.
  To borrow from former NBA coach Dick Motta, the fat lady hasn’t yet begun singing, but she’s certainly in full voice warm-up mode. In real terms, that means Richards is on the verge of yet another South Suburban Conference Red championship.
  Nothing is yet official, but a victory over Shepard on Friday will guarantee the Bulldogs at least a share of their ninth consecutive league crown.
  “I don’t think they will stumble anymore,” Evergreen Park coach Pat Flannigan said of Richards. “They’ve got a real nice team and I think they’re going to start clicking.”
  Flannigan got a firsthand look at the Bulldogs in action last Friday, as they invaded Evergreen and made off with a 66-58 triumph. The visitors were actually ahead by as many as 18 points during the second half before the Mustangs made a late charge.

Doubling their pleasure

  • Written by Ken Karson

Eagles collect pair of SWSC Blue victories

  By double digits, Sandburg doubled its pleasure last week.
  Coming off a rugged stretch of schedule that pitted his team against five straight quality opponents, Eagles coach Todd Allen was simply hoping for a bit of an easier time. He wasn’t expecting Sandburg to breeze past either Lincoln-Way East or Joliet Central, but based on earlier returns, Allen felt the Eagles should very definitely be strong contenders in both SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue contests.
  They had, in fact, defeated the Griffins in a previous matchup. The outcome wasn’t as favorable versus the Steelmen, but that was mostly due to an inopportune scoring drought that plagued Sandburg and turned a five-point deficit into an eventual 17-point loss.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

For the first time in a decade, Sandburg’s boys’ swim program failed to capture a conference championship as it finished second to Stagg at Saturday’s SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue meet at Lockport.

  But despite the broken streak, Eagles coach Jim Caliendo did not express any disappointment in his youthful team’s exhibition. Instead, he is looking forward to the forthcoming sectional and the future beyond that.
  Senior Dean Boures captured the diving competition for Sandburg with a score of 392.25 points. Also in the victory mix were upperclassmen David Apps (200-yard individual medley and 100-butterfly) and Zach Roper (500 IM).
  Equally noteworthy were the efforts of underclassmen who have been solid for Sandburg all season long: freshman Dylan Comiskey (100-breakstroke), sophomore Joshua Lang (100-breaststroke and 100-butterfly), and sophomore Kevin Stratton, who finished second in the 100-backstroke at conference.
  “We were pleased with our performance on Saturday,” Caliendo said. “We have a young squad, [but] I felt throughout the whole season, and especially at the conference meet, that the kids competed hard. I’m proud of our young guys for dropping time.”

Staging a three-for-all

  • Written by Ken Karson

Long-range shooting carries Vikes past Astros

  St. Laurence went the distance last Tuesday night by moving farther away from the basket.
  The Vikings attempted plenty of shots inside the 3-point arc against visiting Shepard, of course, but they fired off just as many from beyond it and attained an equal amount of success. Four 3s, deposited by a quartet of players, got St. Laurence off and running in the first period, and the 16-8 lead it held put the Astros in chase mode almost from the get-go.
  Shepard narrowed a double-digit gap to six points late in the third stanza, but two Vikings buckets — one of them a 3-ball — sandwiched an Astros turnover and created an 11-point cushion for the hosts by the break. From there, St. Laurence completed its run to a 62-56 win.

Painting a winning picture

  • Written by Ken Karson

Spartans sneak past Reavis in ‘Relay for Life’ game

  In recognition of its annual “Relay For Life” fund-raising event, Oak Lawn made purple the dominant color in its gymnasium Friday night.
  Then the basketball-playing Spartans proceeded to leave visiting Reavis in a blue funk.
  With an enthusiastic home crowd urging it on, Oak Lawn went toe-to-toe with the Rams from beginning to end before finally giving its guests the boot. Joe Cosenza, recently inserted into the Spartans’ starting lineup, stepped forward with a huge defensive play at the 15-second mark to tilt momentum his team’s way.