By Mike Duffin
Mount Carmel had to withstand a late rally by St. Laurence for coach Mike Flaherty to earn his 700th victory Friday night in Burbank.The Caravan had to hold their breath as Jim Schicks desperation shot from about 60 feet missed the rim as time expired, giving Mount Carmel a 58-55 victory in the Catholic League South showdown.The Vikings, who hit 11 three pointers in the game, closed the fourth quarter out with a 13-3 run. The Caravan missed five of their 10 free throw attempts in the final period.Were working hard, Flaherty said. Its been a struggle for us.Alex Austin led Mount Carmel (6-12, 3-4) with 27 points, six rebounds and five steals. The senior guard scored eight of his teams 12 fourth-quarter points.Hes been around a long time, Austin said of Flaherty. I just wanted to be part of history.Flaherty, who does not know how many career losses he has, is in his sixth year as the Caravan coach. He coached at Mendall Catholic for nine years and Thornridge for 21 years.Its more about the six games Mount Carmel has won this year than the other teams in the previous 35 years, Flaherty said.So what makes Flaherty such a special coach?He doesnt have favorites, Austin said. Everyone is equal to him. He invests equal time with everyone.The Caravan built a 15-5 lead in the first quarter on an 11-0 run, with Billy Patterson contributing four points. The Vikings cut the deficit to two points on Ryan Risleys three pointer with 6:41 left in the first half. It was the fourth three pointer St. Laurence converted on their last five possessions, but the Caravan responded with a 13-2 run to reestablish the lead.Risley and Schick each scored 16 points for St. Laurence (3-16, 1-6). Billy Patterson scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds for the Caravan.
In the second and final update before the first round of voting closes, the Cubs are still all over All-Star Game voting.
It’s basically status quo in the update. Willson Contreras and Javy Baez are still blowing away the field at their positions, with more than twice as many votes as the closest player.
Kris Bryant remains solidly in second at third base. Anthony Rizzo fell to third behind Freddie Freeman of the Braves, but he is still comfortably ahead of Max Muncy of the Dodgers for the top three spot that will advance him to MLB’s new Starters Election.
All three Cubs outfielders are set to advance as well. Albert Almora Jr. moved up from fifth to fourth and Jason Heyward moved up from seventh to fifth. Interestingly, Bryce Harper is the odd man out, for now, sitting 10th among NL outfielders.
That gives the Cubs seven players set to advance to the Starters Election. Voting for this round closes Friday at 3 p.m. CT. The Starters Election features the top three at each individual position and top nine among outfielders.
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Major League Baseball released a second voting update for All-Star Game starters and three White Sox players are still in the mix.
The top three spots at each position (and top nine in the outfield) are all that matter for now, with those players advancing to MLB’s new Starters Election. James McCann is the only member of the White Sox to sit in one of those spots for now.
McCann is second at catcher behind Gary Sanchez of the Yankees. He is nearly 800,000 votes behind the Yankees backstop.
Jose Abreu was in third in the last update at first base, but has fallen behind Carlos Santana of the Indians. Luke Volt, another Yankee, leads with C.J. Cron of the Twins in second. Santana is just under 43,000 votes ahead of Abreu.
Tim Anderson is still in fourth at shortstop. Jorge Polanco of the Twins and Carlos Correa of the Astros are comfortably in the top two spots. Gleyber Torres, yet another Yankee, is just over 45,000 votes ahead of Anderson for third.
There aren’t any other White Sox within striking distance of the top three. Yoan Moncada remains in eighth among third basemen.
Polls close Friday at 3 p.m. CT.
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