White Sox

High School Lites: Lenti looks to make history

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High School Lites: Lenti looks to make history

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 1:29 p.m.

By Chris Boden & Scott Krinch
CSNChicago.com

Week four of High School Lites is coming up on Friday and Comcast SportsNetCSNChicago.com is the place to go for preps coverage in the Chicagoland area. We'll be bringing you highlights of over 15 games across the area and this week's marquee matchup is a showdown of unbeatens in the Southwest Suburban - Blue Conference: No. 6 Homewood Flossmoor hosts No. 4 Lincoln-Way East. Which team will come away still holding a big zero in the loss column? Tune in to find out. We'll also have highlights of Matt Alviti and the No. 1 Maine South Hawks taking on Niles North. After a 42-0 thrashing of Fenwick, No. 11 St. Rita will go to a hostile environment to take on their Catholic League rival, Brother Rice.

Here's a quick glimpse of each game we'll cover during Friday night's show at 10:30 p.m.:

Robeson (3-0) vs. Bogan (0-3), 3:30 @ Stagg

Chris Boden: The records aren't deceiving in this Prairie State division opener. The Bengals have managed just six points in each of their three losses, though things did get a little better against Lane last week, when they allowed just 28 points after giving up 54 and 51 to open the season against Tinley Park and Edwardsville, respectively. The Raiders are rolling behind RB Devon Sanders, who was Tom Lemming's MVP at a summer camp exclusively for juniors. He carried 58 times for 460 yards and 9 touchdowns in lopsided wins over Julian and Harlan before last week's 28-14 victory at Rich Central.

Young (2-1) vs. Simeon (1-2), 3:30 @ Gately

Scott Krinch: Getting their leader back was all Simeon needed. Quarterback Robert Gregory returned to lead the Wolverines to a 47-7 rout of Morgan Park last week. Before taking his talents to the University of Arkansas and the SEC, Gregory is hoping to lead Simeon to their first state title in school history. Well see if Young can contain Gregory in this Chicago Public League showdown.

Evergreen Park (2-1) @ Tinley Park (3-0), 7:00

CB: So, Mustangs, how good is your defense? The Titans were down 20-7 last week at home to T.F. North, then the Kyle Sheridan-led offense rolled up 49 second half points en route to a 56-52 thrill ride, won on a short touchdown run in the final minute by Preston Thompson. The game turned midway through the third quarter when TP returned kickoff & punt returns within about a minute of each other. That gives them 150 points in their three games. EP put up big numbers itself against Phillips and Payton to start its season, but dropped their South Suburban Red opener to Eisenhower last week, 28-9.

11 St. Rita (2-1) @ Brother Rice (3-0), 7:30

SK: Could this game be an upset in the making? The Crusaders have a powerful 1-2 running back punch of Martez Walker and Andrew Walker and the duo have combined for 14 touchdowns already this season. Will the Mustangs defense, coming off two straight shutouts be able to extinguish the Crusaders running game? Anything can happen in the Catholic League - Blue conference.

Bremen (3-0, 1-0) @ Oak Forest (3-0, 1-0), 7:00

CB: The south suburbs are the place to be this Friday, can't go wrong if you're able to pick-and-choose. Don't let the Braves and Bengals fly under your radar in the rugged, deep South Suburban Blue. The visitors snuck past Hillcrest 14-12 last week, while the hosts have been putting up 40 points per game. Their 33-21 win over T.F. South was their lowest offensive output. Each side has running backs with multiple D-1 offers, Big 10 included: Bremen's David Smith and Oak Forest's Tevin Coleman. Iowa, among others, is interested in both.

4 Lincoln-Way East (3-0, 1-0) @ 6 Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0, 1-0), 7:30

SK: If you're looking for offense this is the game to watch. The Griffins are averaging 44 PPG this season but not to be outdone, the Vikings are averaging 55. Wide receiver J.J. Robertson, an Illini commit, highlights the list of explosive players for Lincoln-Way East. While, HF's Tim Williams is one of the top quarterbacks in the state, passing for over 601 yards on the season. One costly turnover could be the difference in this game.

St. Viator (0-3, 0-1) @ Joliet Catholic (3-0, 1-0), 7:30

CB: If there's any time Lions coach Chris Kirkpatrick might want to double-check to see if Brett Basanez and Jarrett Payton have any eligibility left, this is it. His team has been on the short end of thee blowouts in the East Suburban Catholic, and now face the king of the hill at Joliet Memorial. JCA avenged last fall's 5A quarterfinal loss to Peoria Richwoods with last Friday's 63-34 win, as Northwestern-bound Malin Jones rushed for 242 yards & 4 TD's. Ty Isaac "only" ran for 3, but churned out 273 yards on the ground.

8 Loyola (3-0) @ Providence (3-0), 7:30

SK: After a dominant, 48-13 victory over Lake Forest Academy, Loyola hits the road to take on Providence in their Catholic League - Blue opener. Providence has already matched their win total of last season, doing so with a balanced running game featuring Jack Klyczek, Andy Hoffmeister and Brandon Price. No one has been able to slow down Ramblers quarterback, Malcom Weaver. Weaver is a dual-threat quarterback that could make you pay with his arm and explosive scrambling ability.

Niles North (1-2) @ 1 Maine South (3-0), 7:00
CB: Who (if anyone) can knock off the three-time defending 8A champs? The well-oiled machine rolled past Deerfield last week behind 3 TD's on the ground from 5 foot 4 Paul Preston and another three through the air from junior QB Matt Alviti. It's hard to imagine anyone on the rest of their schedule putting a blemish on their record prior to the playoffs. They'll host the Vikings in this Central Suburban crossover, and their only win was by forfeit over Niles West sandwiched between losses to Oak Lawn and Waukegan.

Elmwood Park (2-1) @ Ridgewood (0-3), 7:00

SK: The Tigers offense finally started to click last Friday, with a 40-0 shutout of Carver Military Academy. Senior QB Tom Senn leads Elmwood Park into enemy territory to take on longtime rival, Ridgewood. The Rebels are winless but came up just short in 22-14 loss against King. Could this be the week that Ridgewood notches their first win?

Huntley (0-3, 0-1) @ 17 Crystal Lake South (3-0, 1-0), 7:15

CB: We'll feature the Gators this week after their dramatic, last-second, game-winning 51 field goal by a birthday boy last week at Cary-Grove. Led by an inspiring coach and a defense that's allowed just 13 points, they'll need to safeguard against a letdown versus the Red Raiders, who've had a brutal schedule this opening month (dropping a 43-2 decision last week to the newest Fox Valley "Valley" member, 12 Prairie Ridge). Despite Brad Walovitch's heroics in last Friday's win, Reese Dziedzic was the unsung hero, setting up the kick with a 16-yard run off a fake punt, and catching a pass for the Gators' lone touchdown.

Marian Catholic (2-1, 2-1) @ 10 Carmel (2-1, 2-1), 7:30

SK: The Corsairs have rebounded nicely, winning their last two games, after a heart-breaking season opening loss to Joliet Catholic. Carmel running back Jordan Kos is as dangerous as they come in the open field. Look for the Corsairs to feed Kos the rock early and often. If the Spartans have any chance of pulling off an upset, they will need running back Jeruel Taylor to have a repeat performance of his 197 yard, two touchdown game against Benet.

Record Hunting

Mount Carmel (3-0) @ St. Joseph (0-3), Saturday 1:30 p.m.

SK: Last week, Frank Lenti tied the legendary Gary Korhonen of Richards with his 306th career win. If Mount Carmel can get past St. Joseph on Saturday, Lenti will break the states all-time career wins record. The Caravan walloped De La Salle last week, 40-7. Being outscored 145-13 on the season, the Chargers have little chance of pulling off the upset. Look for Lenti to have his name atop the record books by Saturday evening.

Transfer troubles

Chicago Pubic League sports administration director Calvin Davis ruled Julian senior DaeShaun Hurley ineligible for the season on Monday. Hurley transferred to Julian from Morgan Park after head coach Lexie Spurlock was fired following the season. Hurley was highly regarded as one of the best players in the state and despite being ineligible he is still being recruited by a handful of D-1 schools.

Coaching Carousel

Rumors swirled around Fenwick High School after the dismissal of head coach Joe DiCanio on Tuesday but no one is quite sure whether he resigned or was fired. DiCanio led the Friars to a Prep Bowl title last season but his team was just (1-2) to start the season. Scott Thies, Class of 99 and Fenwick athletic director, will take over head coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season.

On tap

Tune in to see St. Patrick, our Muscle Milk Team of the Week as they prepare for their upcoming match-up with Nazareth Academy. Also, Chris Boden highlights Frank Lenti as he goes for career win 307. Our Flashback segment this week takes us back to Pierre Thomas glory days at T.F. South. See how Thomas went from an undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois to a Super Bowl champion with the Saints. Well also be previewing Saturdays games.

If you have any story ideas, feel free to email us at: csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

The 2017-18 baseball offseason continues to be, well, the 2017-18 baseball offseason, even with spring training games being played in Arizona and Florida.

A bunch of names remain on the free-agent market, including All-Star players who thought they would be in for big multi-year contracts. But as teams continue to deny the wishes of guys who expected to get big deals, the suggestion that those players might end up needing to take one-year offers if they want to play during the 2018 season is becoming a more common talking point.

So with potential bargains to be had for some pretty big-name players, do the White Sox jump into the waters and try to lock up a potential future piece on the cheap? Though they aren’t expected to contend this season, the White Sox have been mentioned in a pair of recent reports surrounding a pair of All-Star position players: Mike Moustakas and Carlos Gonzalez.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi wrote last week that the White Sox are a potential fit for Moustakas, who has sat and watched as former Kansas City Royals teammate Eric Hosmer received a huge contract from the San Diego Padres. Moustakas set a new Royals record last season with 38 home runs but has yet to find a team.

The White Sox, connected to Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado earlier this offseason, seem to have a current big leaguer or highly ranked prospect locked into almost every position on the diamond for the foreseeable future, but third base isn't necessarily one of them. Jake Burger was last year’s top draft pick, though there’s speculation he could slide over to first base. The team still envisions him as a big league third baseman, for what it’s worth.

Moustakas is 29 and already has seven big league seasons under his belt, including a pair of All-Star appearances and a pair of trips to the World Series, including the Crowns’ championship back in 2015. His 38 homers and 85 RBIs in 2017 were both career highs. He slashed .272/.314/.521, the final of those three numbers the best mark of his career.

Moustakas has rarely hit for average or reached base at too high a clip, though those recent power numbers would be intriguing at a hitter-friendly park like Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has 10 career dingers, 26 career RBIs and a .249/.308/.456 career slash line as a visitor.

Certainly Moustakas would be a buzz-worthy addition, and if the White Sox could get him for a good value thanks to this slow-moving market, that adds incentive to bring him aboard. A short contract would have even more incentive for the rebuilding White Sox, who would have the option to either sign him to a long-term deal or deal him away in a deadline deal depending on his immediate production levels.

But for fans hoping the White Sox will spend big on a third baseman in one of the next two offseasons — Machado is a free agent next winter, and Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado is set to hit the market the winter after next — slotting in an outside addition at the hot corner now could impact those plans.

Gonzalez is a completely different story, a three-time All Star during his 10-year big league career who is just three seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign in 2015. The 32-year-old Gonzalez also has a trio of Gold Gloves to go along with his 215 career home runs. FanRag’s Jon Heyman listed the White Sox as a possible landing spot for CarGo this weekend.

But his walk year in Colorado was not a very good one by his standards. In 136 games for a Rockies team that ended up in the playoffs, he slashed .262/.339/.423, all those averages way down from his usual level of production. And his power numbers plummeted to 14 homers and 57 RBIs after he combined for 65 homers and 197 RBIs in 2015 and 2016.

The good news for the White Sox is that down year makes Gonzalez far more affordable. Should he command only a one-year contract, the White Sox could take a flier, stick him in the outfield — which still has an unresolved spot with few strong offensive options for center field — and trade him should he bounce back in a big way. Or, at 32, perhaps he’s a guy the White Sox could opt to keep around should he prove valuable and the rebuild continues to move along ahead of schedule.

Gonzalez seems the less risky move at this point, as Moustakas could still be looking for a multi-year contract. But the White Sox have plenty of financial flexibility and flexibility in their decision-making should they add either guy and he proves worthy of a midseason deal or a long-term look.

Bulls are unlocking something with Zach LaVine: 'He was terrific'

Bulls are unlocking something with Zach LaVine: 'He was terrific'

MINNEAPOLIS—The applause was thunderous on the welcome back for Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, two Timberwolves draft picks sent away when the chance to acquire Jimmy Butler came along.

But some of the air was taken out the Target Center due to the absence of Jimmy Butler, who’ll miss the next several weeks after deciding to have surgery on his right meniscus following an injury Friday night.

So while there was no rematch of the thrilling contest the two teams had in Chicago, some things were very much the same.

Lauri Markkanen’s struggles continued.

LaVine showed more flashes of his complete game and Dunn had a couple moments of his own.

And on the other side, Tom Thibodeau kept his starters in the game with victory secured and his team up 20 points in the Timberwolves’ 122-104 win over the Bulls Saturday night.

The Timberwolves broke the game open in the fourth quarter with some key shot-making from veteran Jamal Crawford, as he was one point short of the Timberwolves having four 20-point scorers on the night.

Jeff Teague, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins combined for 70 points in their first game of many without Butler.

LaVine was a main reason the Bulls stayed afloat in the first 36 minutes, finishing with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his first game back in front of the Minneapolis crowd he spent his first few years playing for.

Going head-up with his former teammate Wiggins for a stretch, the two seemed to relish their practice matchups. Wiggins was doing a lot of pure scoring while LaVine seemed to enjoy probing the defense and making plays for teammates, taking more of a ballhandling role as opposed to floating around the perimeter for 3-point attempts.

“He’s doing a much better job not settling for tough shots,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s attacking the basket much better than he was. You can just see him getting his legs, getting more comfortable. It was good to see him as a playmaker, he was terrific.”

Perhaps the Bulls are unlocking something with LaVine, getting him the ball in different places and on the move, where he made some nifty passes in traffic, exercising patience and maturity.

“I liked it. Hopefully we get a little bit more of it,” LaVine said. “But it’s working. Should’ve stuck to it.”

They didn’t, as the Bulls didn’t look as organized as they have previously. Dunn looked extremely motivated and aggressive but it seemed to work against him at times as Teague took advantage of Dunn being too quick for his own good. So hyped up, Dunn blew a breakaway dunk in the first half, but luckily Nwaba was right behind him for a putback.

That type of energy was expected for Dunn and LaVine, maybe even moreso for Dunn considering his underwhelming rookie year where he didn’t get much chance to play as a top-five pick.

Dunn finished with 10 points on four of 12 shooting while Cameron Payne scored 11  in 19 minutes, but the decision making from both point guards left plenty to be desired—which is to be expected given the lack of veterans on the floor.

Their starting unit again struggled as Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez again sat as the evaluation of the younger players continued.

Cristiano Felicio had a better outing than his foul-plagued game against Philadelphia, scoring 11 points but had his hands full on the other end. David Nwaba impressed for the second straight game as a starter, getting in the open floor to force the action, scoring 14 with nine rebounds in 34 minutes.

“The second quarter, I thought, was one of our better quarters of the year,” Hoiberg said. “As bad as we played in the first quarter, I thought we were down 20. We just didn’t sustain it. Against a great team like that, it’s gonna cost you.”

Nwaba, along with Bobby Portis, was a big reason why the Timberwolves couldn’t run away from the Bulls until well into the fourth quarter, even after taking a double-digit lead in the first quarter and sending Hoiberg scrambling for early timeouts.

“You can expect it because you haven’t played with that group before,” LaVine said. “We’re gonna get that chemistry down. We (only) had a couple practices with that lineup.”

Whether it’s the lineup change or just the rookie blues, the year has clearly caught up with Markkanen, who only made one field goal in 32 minutes.

“Gotta get some extra shots up. I see myself thinking too much,” Markkanen said. “That’s how it is. Of course it’s frustrating to not make shots but it is what it is. Gotta work through it.”

Markkanen has gone one-for-eight in each game coming from the All-Star break and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts.

“He’s shooting the heck out of the ball in practice,” Hoiberg said. “He’s struggling right now with his confidence, no question about it. As a shooter, you gotta keep looking to be aggressive, take the open ones. It takes one game to get that confidence back.”