Blackhawks

Free-throw affair edges Farragut over Crane

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Free-throw affair edges Farragut over Crane

Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
11:17 PM

By Michael O'Brien
YourSeason.com

The old clich about free throws winning basketball games has rarely been more true than it was Thursday at Crane.

Crane and Farragut shot a combined 83 free-throws, which ranks 20th all-time in the Illinois High School Association record book. It's the highest total recorded for a Public League game and the fourth-highest amount ever shot in the Chicago area.

The No. 13 Admirals shot 47 free throws and the Cougars shot 36, leading to a 74-68 win for Farragut.

"It was pretty ugly," Farragut coach William Nelson said. "I didn't realize the total was up that high. It was definitely a slow game though. And I was thinking that whoever I put in was going to wind up at the line, so I put in the better shooters."

Crane (9-2, 3-1 Red-West) used all the free throws to cut a 16-point deficit down to just two points with 53 seconds to play. But the No. 16 Cougars hard work went down the drain when they called a timeout with none left, resulting in a technical foul that led to two more Farragut free throws. The Admirals shot 9-for-10 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.

"There really wasn't any flow to the game at all," Farragut senior DJ Tolliver said. "We had the lead and knew we needed to just keep getting to the basket and they would call a foul."

Tolliver scored 14 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had four steals. Gabe Williams led the Admirals with 19 points, Jonathan Collins added 18 and Alphonse Matthews scored 13.

Kieran Woods (25 points) and Willie Conner (20 points, nine rebounds) led the charge back for Crane. Woods scored 14 in the fourth quarter and Conner scored 12, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Admirals, who were missing 6-7 junior Rashaun Stimage. Stimage is out with a broken hand.

"We lost to Orr that first game without Stimage," Tolliver said. "We all talked about it in school today, about stepping up and finding a way to win without him. I knew I had to be more of a leader."

Crane shot 21-for-36 from the line and Farragut (11-2, 3-1) was 31 for 47.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.