Comeback kids: Ignatius rallies past Meteors


Comeback kids: Ignatius rallies past Meteors

By Dave Owen

The comeback kids of the York Tournament saved their best for last again.One night after St. Ignatius rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Downers South in the tournament semifinals, the Wolfpack (11-1) produced more late heroics to upend No. 12 De La Salle 47-44 for the York title.Tournament MVP Brian Howard scored 19 points to lead the way, highlighted by a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime tied at 39.I was getting very tired, and I went back to what I know best, Howard said. When I get tired I have to get my legs into the shot, and thats what I did.Howard wasnt done, nailing another trifecta in overtime to put the Wolfpack up 44-40 with 1:55 left.Hes a great pressure shooter, and has been for three years here, St. Ignatius coach Rich Kehoe said.I thought the last game was the toughest I had ever played, Howard said, but this one was definitely the toughest Ive ever played. We deserved the championship.Theyre a very good team, but we have a lot of good senior leadership and that was very beneficial for us. Weve got the heart of a champion, and the coaching staff is the best Ive ever been a part of.Jack Crepeau had given St. Ignatius the lead 41-39 on a 15-footer 50 seconds into overtime. And while Howard provided the outside punch, 6-8 center Peter Ryckbosch (17 points, seven rebounds) excelled against De La Salles talented and tall front line.You just have to play physical, not back down and keep fighting no matter how hard it was, Ryckbosch said.Alvin Ellis (15 points, three steals), Marcus White (12 points) and Gavin Schilling (nine points, 11 rebounds) led the way for De La Salle, but the Meteors (10-2) were unable to get in sync all night.We knew they like to do a lot of high-low stuff, Howard said, so we tried to front their bigs as much as possible and give help on backside.Adding to De La Salles challenge was its free throw struggles. The Meteors were just 10 of 21 from the line in the game, 2 of 7 in the fourth quarter as a 38-34 lead with 2:15 left in regulation vaporized.St. Ignatius was 13 of 19 from the line overall. Both teams shot under 33 percent from the field.With a fast start (up 12-5) and a clutch comeback finish, St. Ignatius toppled a De La Salle team that had rolled into the finals with three lopsided wins.Were a team, and we play hard together, Ryckbosch said. Im looking forward to the rest of the season.

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start by new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

The Bears concluded their second round of OTAs on Thursday with the third and final set of voluntary sessions scheduled for May 29-June 1. Coach Matt Nagy is bringing a new and complicated system to Chicago, so the time spent on the practice field with the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been invaluable.

"We’ve thrown a lot at Mitch in the last 2 ½ months,” Nagy told Dog Days Sports’ Danny Kanell and Steve Torre on Friday. “He’s digested it really well.”

Nagy’s implementing the same system he operated with the Chiefs, an offense that brought the best out of Redskins quarterback Alex Smith. The former first-overall pick went from potential draft bust to MVP candidate under Andy Reid and Nagy’s watch.

Nagy admitted he and his staff may have been a little too aggressive with the amount of information thrust upon Trubisky so far.  It took five years to master the offense in Kansas City, he said, but the first-year head coach sees a lot of similarities between his current and past quarterbacks.

"These guys are just wired differently,” Nagy said when comparing Trubisky to Smith. “With Mitch, the one thing that you notice each and every day is this kid is so hungry. He wants to be the best. And he’s going to do whatever he needs to do. He’s so focused.”

Smith had the best year of his career in 2017 and much of the credit belongs to Nagy, who served as Smith’s position coach in each season of his tenure in Kansas City. He threw for eight touchdowns and only two interceptions during the five regular season games that Nagy took over play-calling duties last year.

Nagy said Trubisky has a similar attention to detail that Smith brought to the Chiefs’ quarterback room.

"Each and every detail that we give him means something. It’s not just something he writes down in a book. He wants to know the why,” Nagy said of Trubisky. “He’s a good person that is in this for the right reason. His teammates absolutely love him. It was the same thing with Alex [Smith] in Kansas City.”

A locker room that believes in its quarterback is a critically important variable for success, one that Nagy already sees exists in Chicago.

"When you have that as a coach and when you have that as being a quarterback, not everybody has that, and when you have that you’re in a good spot.”