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.

Recalling moments in Tom Brady history ahead of his likely last meeting with Bears


Recalling moments in Tom Brady history ahead of his likely last meeting with Bears

As Tom Brady approaches what in all reasonable likelihood will be his last game against the Bears and in Soldier Field, the first time this reporter saw Tom Brady comes very much to mind. Actually the first times, plural. Because they were indeed memorable, for different reasons.

That was back in 2001, when Brady should have started replacing Wally Pipp as the poster athlete for what can happen when a player has to sit out and his replacement never gives the job back. Drew Bledsoe, who’d gotten the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl, had gotten injured week two of that season. Brady, who’d thrown exactly one pass as a rookie the year before, stepped in and never came out, playing the Patriots into the AFC playoffs the same year the Bears were reaching and exiting the NFC playoffs when Philadelphia’s Hugh Douglas body-slammed QB Jim Miller on his shoulder.

After that the playoff assignments were elsewhere, including the Patriots-Steelers meeting in Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship. Brady started that game but left with an ankle injury and Bledsoe came off the bench to get the Patriots into Super Bowl.

Then came one of those rare moments when you are witnessing history but have the misfortune of not knowing it at the time.

The question of Super Bowl week was whether Bill Belichick would stay with Bledsoe’s winning hand or go back to Brady. Belichick of course waited deep into Super Bowl week before announcing his decision at 8 p.m. on a Thursday night, the second time that season Belichick had opted to stay with Brady over a healthy Bledsoe. And of course Belichick didn’t announce the decision himself (surprise); he had it put out by the team’s media relations director.

You did have to respect Belichick, though, going into his first Super Bowl as a head coach with a sixth-round draft choice at quarterback and leaving a former (1992) No. 1-overall pick with a $100-million contract on the bench. The Patriots upset The Greatest Show on Turf Rams in that Super Bowl, Brady was MVP, and Bledsoe was traded to Buffalo that offseason.


That Super Bowl also included one of those performance snapshots the Bears envision for Mitch Trubisky but missed a chance to let him attempt last Sunday at Miami in his 17th NFL start. Brady took the Patriots on a drive starting at their own 17 with 1:30 to play and no timeouts, ending with an Adam Vinatieri field-goal winner.

If Belichick was all right letting his second-year quarterback in just his 17th start throw eight straight passes starting from inside his own red zone, the next time Matt Nagy gets the football at his own 20 with timeouts and time in hand, best guess is that the decision will be to see if his quarterback lead a game-winning drive with his arm instead of handing off.

It may not happen this Sunday. Brady is a career 4-0 vs. Bears, and if there is one constant it is that his opposite numbers play really bad football against him, or rather his coach’s defense. Bears quarterback passer ratings opposite Brady, even in years when the Bears were good: Jim Miller 51.2 in 2002, Rex Grossman 23.7 in 2006; Jay Cutler 32.9 and Cutler again in the 51-23 blowout in Foxboro. Cutler finished that game with a meaningless 108.6 rating, meaningless because Cutler put up big numbers beginning when his team was down 38-7 after he’d mucked about with a 61.7 rating, plus having a fumble returned for a TD, while the Bears were being humiliated.

A surprise would be if Trubisky bumbles around like his predecessors (New England allows an average opponent passer rating of 91.6), but whether he can produce a third straight 120-plus rating…. Then again, Pat Mahomes put a 110.0 on the Patriots last Sunday night, but Deshaun Watson managed only a 62.9 against New England in game one.

Trubisky will make the third of the three 2017 first-round QB’s to face the Patriots. The first two lost.

Bulls Talk Podcast: The ultimate Bulls briefing to get you ready for Opening Night


Bulls Talk Podcast: The ultimate Bulls briefing to get you ready for Opening Night

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski sits down with Kendall Gill and Will Perdue to discuss all the need-to-know topics to get you ready for the season opener. The guys analyze how Lauri’s injury will make its mark on the early season rotation, whether Jabari will return to the starting unit or embrace the 6th-man role and why Portis betting on himself is the right move. Plus, Kendall has the key to unlock a “6th Man of the Year” award for Portis this season.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: