Preps Talk

High School Lites: Round 2 Playoff Preview

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High School Lites: Round 2 Playoff Preview

Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010
9:30 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Comcast SportsNet is your home for the IHSA football playoffs! Check out High School Lites at 10:30 Friday night, just after the Bulls take on the Celtics. We will be at every high school football game in the Chicagoland area, which includes state and Chicago Public League playoff games. What schools will make it one step closer to Champaign? Our spotlight will include:

8A:

3 Mt. Carmel (8-2) at 11 Neuqua Valley (7-3), 7:00pm
Now that the kids in the Caravan got coach Frank Lenti his 300th career win, what will be done as an encore? Theres no room for a letdown Friday night in Naperville, as they play a Neuqua Valley team that trounced Downers Grove South last week 36-22. Trent Snyder is a beast in the Wildcats backfield. He carried the ball 39 times for 217 yards and four TDs in last weeks win. Mt. Carmels offense has been clicking, too. Senior quarterback and Catholic League co-MVP Chris Sujka tallied 229 yards, 171 of them on the ground, in last weeks victory over Bolingbrook. Fun fact: Mt. Carmel has either won state or finished second in 13 of the past 24 seasons.
5 Waubonsie Valley (8-2) at 4 Homewood-Flossmoor (8-2), 7:00pm
H-Fs dramatic one-season turnaround continued last week in a 41-14 win over Curie. The Vikings were 1-8 last season and look to get to the nine win plateau Friday for the first time since their state title year in 1994, when they went 13-1. The matchup with Upstate Eight conference foe Waubonsie Valley figures to be a great one. The Warriors took it to Brother Rice last week 33-7. Running back Austin Guido ran for 204 yards, helping secure the first playoff victory for W-V in nine years. The winner of this game plays the winner of
1 York (9-1) at 9 Naperville North (7-3), 7:30pm
It makes you wonder what Naperville Norths record would be if they were in any other conference than the rugged DuPage Valley. All three of their losses were to eventual playoff teams. Maybe they could do a test run in the West Suburban Silver? The road wouldnt be any easier there. Just ask York. Three teams from that conference currently stand at 9-1and that includes the Dukes. York survived a scare from Lockport last week 21-14, as quarterback Jim Nudera came through with two clutch drives late. Naperville North walked (or ran) away from Marist last week in a 27-14 victory, as backs Matt LaCosse and Antonio Owens set the rushing attack.
7 Sandburg (8-2) at 2 Lyons (9-1), 7:30pm
If youre a fan of blue, yellow and white jerseyscome out to 49th & Willow Springs Road in the western suburbs Friday night. Sandburg and Lyons might dress alike, but the host Lions might be tougher to keep track ofsimply because they are scoring at will. They have scored more than 30 points seven times this year, including last weeks 58-0 drubbing of Vocational. But Sandburg is also on a serious tear. They currently have a four game winning streak, the last three against playoff teamsincluding last weeks 24-20 win over Proviso West in the first round. The victor gets the Mt. Carmel-Neuqua Valley winner.

6A:

2 Rock Island (8-2) at 6 Crete-Monee (7-3), 7:00pm
Crete-Monee and Rock Island hook up for the second consecutive year. Last years game was a regular season tilt, which was won by the Rocks 14-0 in the Quad Cities. The Warriors look for home-cooked revenge this time around behind quarterback Jaylan Bailey, who was clutch last week in leading his team to a come-from-behind 35-28 victory over Normal West. He racked up 344 yards and four touchdowns on the day. Rock Island is no stranger to postseason play, having qualified 16 of the last 18 seasons. Their debut in the 2010 playoffs was a wild one. They beat DeKalb 42-41 in overtime last week.
4A:
3 Rock Island Alleman (10-0) at 11 CICSLongwood (7-3), 7:00pm at St. Rita High School
Chicago International Charter School Longwood made school history last Saturday, winning their first playoff game ever in a 42-8 victory over Carver at Gately Stadium. Anthony Garrison scored three touchdowns, one of them off a fumble recovery. The competition gets dramatically tougher this week as they take on an undefeated Pioneers team thats coming off a 31-0 win over Genoa-Kingston. Alleman is no stranger to the state football playoffs. They have made it downstate three times since 1986.
CHICAGO PUBLIC LEAGUE PLAYOFFS:
Dunbar (5-5) vs. Harper (6-4), 3:30pm at Gately Stadium
The Mightymen and the Cardinals got tripped up in their quest for a state title. Both teams now shift their focus on the Prep Bowl at Soldier Field. Dunbar has already claimed a victory over Harper this season: a 30win on September 11th and Stagg Field.

Curie (5-5) vs. Hubbard (8-2), 7:00pm at Gately Stadium
Hubbard lost a heartbreaker to Cary-Grove last week, while Curie got tripped up against Homewood-Flossmoor. Quarterback Quincy Skanes engineers the attack for the 8-2 Greyhounds. Note: the Prep Bowl will be Friday November 26th at Soldier Field, pitting Chicagos Public League champions against the top team from the Catholic League.

Team of the Week

In our Team of the Week segment, we profile St. Edward High School in Elgin. The Green Wave secured their first playoff win in school history last weekend. And how about their reward: they will now get to host their first football playoff game ever. Our Luke Stuckmeyer takes a look at a team that is enjoying postseason success for the first time in almost 70 years. In our Flashback segment, we will profile an unsung hero from Wheaton Warrenville South in the 2006 state playoffs. He had the game of his life and helped the Tigers win a state championship. Find out who he is on High School Lites.

We also have plenty of games on Saturdays calendar for coverage. They include:

Bartlett @ Maine South (8A)
Loyola @ Fremd (8A)
Simeon @ Schaumburg (7A)
Lake Zurich @ Prospect (7A)
Glenbard West @ Lincoln-Way East (7A)
Lake Forest @ Crystal Lake South (6A)
Morgan Park @ Prairie Ridge (6A)
Robeson @ Cary-Grove (6A)
Vernon Hills @ Tinley Park (5A)
Mendota @ St. Edward (4A)

Tune in to CSN at 10:30 Friday night! We are your source for playoff highlights, scores and more. We will be streaming the show live at CSNChicago.com.

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

CLASS 1A

Revealing the Class 1A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 1A Bracket

CLASS 2A

Revealing the Class 2A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 2A Bracket

CLASS 3A

Revealing the Class 3A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 3A Bracket

CLASS 4A

Revealing the Class 4A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 4A Bracket

Predicting Class 1A-4A

CLASS 5A

Revealing the Class 5A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 5A Bracket

CLASS 6A

Revealing the Class 6A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 6A Bracket

CLASS 7A

Revealing the Class 7A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 7A Bracket

CLASS 8A

Revealing the Class 8A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 8A Bracket

Class 7A and Class 8A Predictions

 

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

Keeping the game simple is often a tough task for rookies entering the NBA, but it seems Lauri Markkanen has been a quick learner in that aspect.

Through two games he’s probably the lone bright spot, especially after the Bulls’ cringe-inducing 87-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their home opener at the United Center.

Jumper not falling? Okay, go to the basket.

“It wasn’t falling so I tried to get to the rim a couple times,” Markkanen said. “At the end, I was like let’s do it and I connected on a 3-pointer, I felt more open just because I was at the rim. I think that helped.”

He was asked what the difference was in the second game of his career compared to the first.

“I mean the crowd was chanting for us (tonight),” Markkanen said, referring to Thursday in Toronto.

He wasn’t attempting to display any dry wit but applying common sense seems to work for him, even though he’s been thrust into a situation after an incident that doesn’t make any sense.

With Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the foreseeable future, playing a game-high 37 minutes will be more common than anomaly.

“Whatever your minutes are, you gotta play them to the best of your ability,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s being allowed to play through some mistakes right now. He’s gonna play heavy minutes every night.”

He only shot five of 14 but achieved his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds after a 17-point, eight-rebound debut against the Raptors Thursday.

No, someone didn’t open a door for a draft to come into the United Center on that three-pointer that went wide left, but it didn’t stop him from being assertive and continuing to look for his shot.

There was plenty of muck, easy to see on the stat sheet. The 38 percent shooting overall, the lack of penetration, the 29 percent shooting from 3-point range and 20 turnovers.

It’s not hard to imagine what Markkanen will look like with competent and effective NBA players around him, along with a true facilitating point guard that will find him in this offense.

“Markkanen is a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.”

He received a crash course, facing the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay Saturday night. On one instance, Gay drove baseline and made Markkanen buckle with a 3-point play.

Aldridge had 24 shots in 32 minutes as a new focal point with Kawhi Leonard out with injury.

So he’s not getting treated with kid gloves, nor is he backing down from the assignments.

“He didn’t shoot the ball well but he battled,” Hoiberg said. “He had a tough assignment with Pau, who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame one day. Good experience. He guarded Aldridge, Rudy Gay some. He battled, he fought them.”

Even with the airball, had the moment that gives the Bulls fans hope, when he drove on Gasol, spun and hooked a lefty layup while being fouled by the veteran in the first half—giving the United Center faithful something to have faith in for a moment.

“Sometimes you get labeled as a shooter. That’s the label Lauri had,” Hoiberg said. “But he really is a complete basketball player. He’s versatile, he can put in on the deck. He slides his feet very well for a guy that’s seven feet tall, someone his age. Yeah, he’s learning on the fly. He’s gonna have ups and downs, as young as he is. He’s gonna have some struggles at times. But he’s played pretty darn well for everything he’s been through, understanding two days ago he’s gonna be in the starting lineup.”

And for all the bad air around the Bulls right now, from the on-court product to the off-court drama that seems to follow them around like Pigpen, it would be even worse if Markkanen’s first two games had him looking like a corpse, or someone who would be a couple years away from reasonably contributing to an NBA team.

“He’s good, he’s very good,” Gasol said. “I like him. I like his game.”