Bears

Proviso West holds on to capture win over York

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Proviso West holds on to capture win over York

Friday, Dec. 10, 2010
11:00 PM

By George Wilcox
YourSeason.com
Stopping York scorer Will Sullivan is unlikely for an entire game, but Proviso West succeeded by shutting down the senior guard for a half.

Sullivan scored a career-high 34 points, but 27 of them came in the second half as 13th-ranked Proviso West remained undefeated with an 84-75 victory Friday night in the West Suburban Silver.

The 6-foot-3 Sullivan surpassed his previous career high of 33 points from last season on the game's final basket, a layup with 25 seconds remaining. But Sullivan had only seven points in the first half on 2-of-5 shooting.

He had one basket in the first quarter, a layup with 5:44 remaining. Sullivan shot 13-of-21 from the floor, including four three-pointers, and made all four of his free-throw attempts.

"It was tough. If I'm not bringing the ball up, I've got to get the offense going," Sullivan said. "If it's not me (scoring), everyone else has to get their shots."

Cody Kliethermes had 11 points for visiting York on 3-of-6 shooting beyond the three-point arc.

Proviso West's Ryan Woods drew the defensive assignment against Sullivan for most of the game.

The Panthers (6-0, 2-0) used a balance attack led by Nicholas Dixon (24 points, five rebounds) and Nicholas Frazier (23 points, 10 rebounds), who each established new season highs. Tyrone McDonald added 15 points and Woods had 10.

McDonald scored Proviso West's first 12 points.The Panthers limited Sullivan to four points in the opening quarter and used a seven-point run to take a 23-18 lead to end the quarter.

"Our focus was on (Sullivan)," Dixon said. "That was our No. 1 priority. We know he's their main guy."

Sullivan's 16-foot jumper to open the fourth quarter pulled the Dukes (4-2, 1-1) to within 58-55, but the Panthers answered with a 7-0 run capped by Dixon's steal and dunk. Dixon did not miss any of his seven shot attempts in the second half after scoring six points in the first half.

"I thought I had to be aggressive," Dixon said. "Playing the point guard role, I've got to get my team involved."

Frazier did much of his damage by shooting 9-of-13 at the free throw line. He made his first eight foul shots before missing his first attempt in the fourth quarter.

"This is a great confidence booster. York can win any given night," Frazier said. "This is a great feeling because we have another big game tomorrow at East Aurora. This will get us momentum for that."

Proviso West scored its most points of the season since beating Lincoln Park 80-75 in the season opener Nov. 22. The most points York has allowed this season was 54 in wins over Morton Nov. 24 and Hinsdale Central Dec. 4.

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.