White Sox

Crete-Monee clinches Southland Conference title

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Crete-Monee clinches Southland Conference title

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011
10:25 PM

By Dale Bowman
YourSeason.com

Behind Greg Mays' 14-point first half, No. 12 Crete-Monee clinched the Southland Conference title with a 58-39 victory over Bloom Friday night in Chicago Heights.

The 6-9 senior paced the Warriors (21-3, 9-1) to a 26-19 halftime lead.

"It was just instinct that took over,'' said Mays, who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

"Our last few weeks, he has been phenomenal,'' Crete coach Matt Ryndak said. "He has been active. He is finally getting back to form after three months without contact.''

The Warriors stretched the lead to double digits, 33-21, on a three-pointer by Jamee Crockett (13 points).

"We came out in the third quarter and turned it up,'' Ryndak said. "We rebounded the ball, which let us run a little bit.''

"The last seven or eight games, we have gotten behind, then have to battle back,'' Bloom coach Jasper Williams said.

And the Trojans (15-9, 7-3) did, cutting the lead to 35-33 on a jumper by Johnny Griffin. But then the Warriors held the Trojans without a field goal for the next eight minutes and pulled away.

"We kept our composure,'' Mays said.

And it helped that junior Michael Orris hit a three-pointer and two free throws as the Warriors built their lead back to 40-33 at the end of the third quarter.

"Jamee and Orris were the guys I challenged at the half,'' Ryndak said.

Crete-Monee botched three dunks on the night, two by Crockett and one by Mays.

Jeremy Roberson led Bloom with 12 points, and Dejahown Freeman added seven.

"The last eight or nine games, we haven't been playing Bloom basketball,'' Williams said.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Emotional interview with Michael Kopech and Vanessa Morgan

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USA Today

White Sox Talk Podcast: Emotional interview with Michael Kopech and Vanessa Morgan

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with Michael Kopech and his wife Vanessa Morgan at SoxFest about their relationship, Michael’s comeback from Tommy John surgery, his battles with mental health, removing himself from social media, handling fame, Morgan’s acting career and more.

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Jim Boylen standing firm at moment of reckoning in Bulls season

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USA Today

Jim Boylen standing firm at moment of reckoning in Bulls season

It’s no secret that the Bulls’ season hangs in the balance. At 17-30, the team is at once three games out of a playoff spot and slated ninth in the current lottery standings. 

To hear head coach Jim Boylen and co. tell it, a playoff berth remains the more desirable of those two timelines. But according to Basketball Reference, the Bulls have the third most difficult remaining strength of schedule in the East. And worse, they’ll have to face the (immediate) future without Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and Daniel Gafford.

The loss of Markkanen — the most recent of that group to go down — has tipping point potential. In the Bulls’ first game without him, they mustered just 81 points at home against a swooning Sacramento Kings squad, shooting 8-for-37 from 3-point range in the process. The team’s need for secondary scoring outside of Zach LaVine glared

But, as Boylen has maintained all season, the Bulls are not going to change the way they play. They just need to play better.

“We gotta play faster, we gotta move the ball. I thought we had a couple possessions where the ball stuck. The ball can’t stick. We gotta move it, we gotta drive it,” Boylen said of the loss to the Kings before the Bulls’ Saturday night matchup with the Cavaliers in Cleveland. “I also think we missed some opportunities that we need to make.

“Our margin for error is not great. We have to make the plays we can make and make the shots we can make.”

For now, at least, the starting lineup won’t change (sorry #StartCoby crowd) — though Boylen said he’ll keep his rotation fluid. As for outside reinforcements being brought in?

“We have not talked about that. Doesn’t mean we won’t,” Boylen said when asked if the Bulls could actually pivot to ‘buying’ at the trade deadline, given their relative proximity to a playoff spot. “We’re in the middle of a really tough stretch of games, and a lot of games, so my focus has been on that.

“I love the guys we have,” he added. “And we’re gonna keep coaching and teaching the guys we have. I’ve got a good group, a coachable group.”

Absent from those adjectives was ‘interchangeable’ but that word has been ever-present in Boylen’s vocabulary through the ups and downs of this season. In his first full year at the helm, his primary goal remains clear.

“Because we’re establishing this system,” Boylen said when asked why, through thick and thin, the team’s playing style hasn’t changed, as it did last season after Boylen was hired. “Last year, we were tearing it down and then establishing it. Now we’re gonna keep establishing it.”

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