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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
9:08 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Comcast SportsNet is the place to be for high school sports! Fridays edition of High School Lites will feature 11 ranked teams in action, including battles between Proviso East and Downers Grove South, along with St. Ignatius and De La Salle. Also, David Kaplan has the story of Reilly OToole: the state champion quarterback from Wheaton Warrenville Southwho also knows a thing or two about basketball. Well preview the High School Hoops Showdown in Hoffman Estates and well take a stroll down memory lane in our flashback segment, featuring Simeon. Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

Hyde Park @ (19) Curie, 4:00pm

No, its not exactly Bears-Packers, but the highly anticipated matchup between Hyde Park and Curie has the makings of a classic. Its a fight for Red Central conference supremacy. Although Hyde Park (15-3, 7-0) isnt ranked, they will be coming in with a lot of momentum after Wednesdays 63-46 win at King. Aqui Shareef leads a very well-balanced attack for the Thunderbirds. Curie is coming off an 88-42 thrashing of Chicago Richards, which netted them their 20th win on the year. Devin Foster had 23 in the win.

Schurz @ Steinmetz, 4:00pm

Like Hyde Park-Curie, the Schurz-Steinmetz game will also be one that could decide a conference championship. This time, the Blue-North bragging rights could be up for grabs. Schurz is 18-2 after a 58-28 pasting of Northside. Francisco Uriostegui is the go-to guy for the Bulldogs. Their 7-0 record in conference will be tested Friday by a Steinmetz team who beat Lake View 53-46 on Wednesday. The Silver Streaks (15-3, 6-0) are one of the deepest teams in conference. Their guard Pierre Baptiste will get a lot of looks.

(18) Downers Grove South @ (4) Proviso East, 6:00pm

Look out for the 4th ranked Pirates. They are on fire after two wins over marquee programs (Glenbard East and North Lawndale). Sterling Brown, the younger brother of the Lakers Shannon, has emerged as a leader. Center Trashaun Carroll is tough to contain as well. But Downers South will provide a serious challenge. Guards Jerron Wilbut and Jamall Millison have nice touches on the ball, and center Ziggy Riauka can dominate the low post. The Mustangs have won three straight since winning the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.

Stagg @ Thornwood, 6:00pm

Lets face it, Thorntons going to be very tough to catch in the SW Suburban Red conference, but the race for second is intriguing in its own way, as four teams come into this weekends action with 3-2 recordstwo of them being Chargers and Thunderbirds. Stagg has won four of their last five, including Tuesdays 66-37 victory over Oak Lawn. Thornwood lost a heartbreaking 62-61 decision Friday to Bradley-Bourbonnais. Theyre led by Darrel Combs, one of the best guards in the conference.

(2) Benet @ Marist, 7:30pm

Benets David Sobolewski will try to play with a sore back Friday night on the south side. The Northwestern-bound guard cannot afford to have his team look ahead to Saturdays showdown against 17 Glenbard East. Benet defeated St. Viator 48-32 on Tuesday. Fellow East Suburban Catholic foe Marist comes in with a 13-8 record after Tuesdays 73-64 loss to Brother Rice. Guards L.J. McIntosh and Paul Simmons, along with center Nick Weishar will hope to contain an elite Benet team thats loaded with talent.

St. Patrick @ Nazareth, 7:30pm

Another intriguing game in the ESCCthis time in La Grange Park. Both teams are chasing Benetand they both feature standout forwards: Ryan Powers for Nazareth, and Jacob Williams for St. Patrick. Nazareth is hoping for a win here to give them some momentum for next weeks showdown against Benet. As for the Shamrocks, theyre coming in off an impressive 63-46 win over Niles West in Skokie.

(7) De La Salle @ (24) St. Ignatius, 7:30pm

The uniforms on the floor tomorrow night will probably feature a lot of blue, white, gold and red--- but the game really features a lot of orange. Illinois recruits Mike Shaw (De La Salle) and 6-10 Nnanna Egwu (St. Ignatius) tangle in a prime showdown in the Catholic North conference. Both players are the go-to guys on their respective rosters. The 7th ranked Meteors are coming off a 3rd place finish in a Missouri tournament last weekend. St. Ignatius has won five in a row, including Sundays impressive win over Orr in the MLK Shootout.

Glenbrook North @ Niles North, 7:30pm

Niles North may not seem like a basketball powerhouse, but they could end up turning some heads come playoff time. The Vikings dribble-drive motion offense, installed by former Maine East coach Glenn Olson, has given New Mexico recruit Abdel Nader (a Maine East transfer himself) a lot of gaudy scoring numbers. Niles North will be challenged by a Glenbrook North team with a lot of size up frontand a lot of momentum from their last two wins. They beat Maine East 82-31, and then Glenbrook South 66-39.

Maine South @ (16) Evanston, 7:30pm

Like the Glenbrook North-Niles North game, Central Suburban South tenants Maine South and Evanston are also fighting for first in their conference as well. The 16th ranked Wildkits will come in with something to prove after Tuesday nights 44-39 loss to Loyola. The focal point of the Kits offense is guard Garrett Jones, one of the top guards in the area. Maine South has quite a guard of their own in Matt Palucki. The Hawks have won six straight and already have a win over Evanston this year: a 51-45 decision on December 7.

THURSDAY GAME:

(9) Whitney Young 49, (25) Orr 39

Ohio State-bound Sam Thompson scored 16 points and Thomas Hamilton added 10 more as the 9th ranked Dolphins pull out a key Red West victory. Curtis Jones led the Spartans with 14 points and Illinois-bound Mycheal Henry had 11 more in the losing effort. Whitney Young will have only one day to celebrate their win, as they prepare to take on another ranked opponent Hales Franciscanon Saturday night. We will have postgame reaction to Thursdays game with Thompson and W-Y head coach Tyrone Slaughter.

Check us out Friday night at 10:30. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?

Dry humping and second-guessing: Joe Maddon defends his Game 2 bullpen decisions

Dry humping and second-guessing: Joe Maddon defends his Game 2 bullpen decisions

Joe Maddon has no easy decisions.

With the way his tattered bullpen has pitched this postseason, there's a very real possibility that any guy he calls on to pitch is the "wrong" guy or the right guy in the "wrong" spot.

For everybody wanting Maddon to ride Wade Davis as a workhorse this fall — something the Cubs skipper has already done just to get to this NLCS — remember how much flak he took for overusing Aroldis Chapman a year ago at this time.

Davis also hasn't been superhuman this postseason, allowing a pair of runs (including a homer) and seven baserunners in 4.1 playoff innings, good for a 4.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

So when Maddon sat in the dugout late Sunday evening watching helplessly as John Lackey served up a walk-off homer to Tormund Giantsbane Justin Turner, the "Madd Scientist" immediately found himself in the crosshairs of Cubs fans and the media.

The first question he fielded in his postgame press conference was about not using Davis and there were several follow-ups. That and the offensive futility is about all anybody wanted to talk about after the Cubs fell down 0-2 in the NLCS.

Maddon explained Davis was available only in a save situation due to workload issues — the Cubs closer was in uncharted territory Thursday night/Friday morning, throwing the most pitches (44) and innings (2.1) he's thrown since Aug. 24, 2013 when he was still working as a starter. That's a span of 1,511 days.

"Wade knew that going into the game, it was going to be with the say," Maddon said. "We caught the lead, he's in the game. So whatever the narrative was, it's really a false narrative. He was not coming into that game until we grabbed the lead. He was not going to pitch more than three outs. That's it."

How does Maddon respond to his second-guessers?

"Doesn't matter," Maddon said. "First of all, social media, the moment I start worrying about that, I really need to retire. Second of all, that was all predetermined [Sunday] night again."

Davis also has a recent history of arm troubles (he was on the disabled list twice in 2016 for a forearm issue) and also saw his workload jump in September just to help the Cubs get to the postseason. In the final month of the regular season, Davis threw 237 pitches, 42 more than he threw in any other month of 2017. The last time he topped 200 pitches in any month was May 2015.

TV cameras showed Davis throwing in the Cubs bullpen alongside Lackey at one point in the ninth inning, leading to surprise by a huge faction of the (*looks around and whispers*) social media fanbase when the game broadcast resumed after commercials and the pitching change was to bring Lackey — not Davis — into the game.

"Wade was not warming up to come in that game," Maddon said. "Wade was probably just testing his arm at that point. We had talked about it before the game — up and in. 

"For those that aren't involved in Major League Baseball and professional baseball in general, when a guy's throwing too much, it's very important to not dry hump him, as the saying goes. Get him up and put him back down and bring him back in later. So I wasn't going to do that."

(Wow, really was not expecting to hear or write the phrase "dry hump" regarding this story.)

Maddon insists health is not the problem with Davis.

"Yes [he's healthy]. Oh yeah," Maddon said. "Listen, this guy just did yeoman kind of work — I love that word — in Washington and was not prepared to go more than three outs. I don't understand why that's difficult to understand.

"And furthermore, you have to also understand it wasn't the last game of the year or the second to last game. It was about winning eight more games. All these things are factors."

Maddon has a point. This isn't a Buck Showalter case where the Baltimore Orioles manager failed to use his best reliever — Zach Britton — in a non-save situation in a winner-take-all American League wild card game because he wanted the closer to be ready for a save.

The Cubs went down in a game that was tied 1-1 with their best reliever failing to get in the game even though he hadn't pitched in the last two days. 

But Davis can't cover every inning in relief, especially when the Cubs' two starters (Jose Quintana and Jon Lester) lasted just 9.2 innings against the Dodgers, leaving the Cubs bullpen to account for the other 8+ innings somehow.

The rest of the Cubs bullpen has to step up, too, which they did before the ninth inning of Game 2.

Still, Maddon couldn't resist getting one more defensive shot in before putting the matter to bed:

"I really hope you all understand that social media doesn't count at all," he said. "Twitter doesn't count at all. And really, as sportswriters, you should do a better job than relying on Twitter to write a story, quite frankly."

Well then.