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Hales slams Chicago Christian for regional title

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Hales slams Chicago Christian for regional title

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011
11:00 PM

By: Chris Pellizzari
YourSeason.com

Not only did the No. 11 Spartans capture a 2A regional title on Friday. They did it with style.

In front of opponent Chicago Christians own fans, Hales (25-4) put on a show that consisted of a barrage of slam dunks and steals. When the curtain finally came down, the Spartans walked away with the 78-49 victory.

Halfway through the first period, Hales junior Aaric Armstead (12 points) caught a pass just beyond the three-point line. He blew by his defender and bursted down the right baseline before elevating over another Knight defender and throwing down a tomahawk dunk.

Seconds later, Dominique Walls (16 points, eight rebounds) stole a pass and took it the length of the court for another dunk.

It was also the beginning of an onslaught of Knight turnovers.

Leading by only seven points early in the second period, The Spartans turned their game up another gear. Junior Eddie Alcantara, who led all scorers with 21 points, connected with Walls for an alley-oop dunk that sparked an 8-0 run.

Armstead then stripped the ball from a Knight player and took it in for another uncontested dunk. Chicago Christian (21-7), who finished the game with 35 turnovers, had four turnovers on four straight possessions during the run.

Two mid-range jump shots by Aaron Armstead capped off the run and gave the Spartans a 27-12 lead.

Chicago Christian had a hard time just getting the ball past the half-court line and committed 10 turnovers in the period while only scoring eight points. Aaron Armstead scored seven points alone in the period.

Appropriately, the half came to an end with two more steals and another dunk. Jerry Humphrey (four points) had both steals, one which led to a dunk by Alcantara and the other an easy layup for Humphrey.

The Spartans held a commanding 34-18 going into half time.

We wanted to come out and push the ball, said Aaron Armstead. We did a great job of attacking their gaps and scoring in the paint. It was total team effort offensively and I did what I had to do.

With 5:12 left in the third period, Hales jumped out to its biggest lead of the game, 42-21, when Alcantara stole a pass and took it all the way for a dunk.

As the rest of his teammates were throwing down dunks, Walls showed off his skills as an offensive rebounder. The 6-6 senior timed the ball perfectly before soaring in the air and tipping it in off the glass. He scored eight points off offensive rebounds in the period.

The Knights turned the ball over eight more times in the period. Alcantara, who had four steals in the period, took advantage of the turnovers for nine third-quarter points.

Defensively, we had a great game plan tonight. We brought a playoff intensity, said Alcantara. We are hungry for a state championship and we plan to will ourselves to wins.

Michael Kamp led Chicago Christian with 17 points.

White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

Of all the White Sox players this season, the spotlight has shined brightest on Luis Robert, but he says that’s not the reason for his recent five-game slump. In fact, Robert doesn’t even see himself as a new face of the franchise, despite all the hype surrounding his MLB debut and hot start to the season.

“I honestly don’t feel that way,” Robert said via team interpreter Billy Russo. “I just think that I’m the new guy.”

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It’s clear the pressure didn’t affect Robert earlier in the year as he notched at least one hit in his first six games, and racked up 14 hits through 10 games. As the impressive performances at the plate mounted, so did the buzz around the young centerfielder. But Robert insists he doesn’t think about it, even though he’s slashing a lowly .158/.200/.211 over his last five games, and out of the lineup for the first time in his career on Monday.

“I know everyone’s trying to talk about me, about my option for Rookie of the Year and that kind of stuff,” Robert said via Russo. “But for me I just feel like another guy for this team. I don’t feel that pressure, that attention. I know that it’s there, but I don’t think about that.”

So is this mini-slump due to an adjustment in the way pitchers are approaching Robert at the plate? Again, Robert says no.

“Pitchers have been attacking me the same way since the season started. I didn’t have good results the last few days, but I just have to keep working. There’s nothing different that they have done against me. It’s just a matter of results.”

Robert has shown a remarkable ability to adjust to a pitcher’s approach mid-game. Now it’s time to see how he adjusts to a little major league adversity.


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2020 NHL Draft: Winner of No. 1 pick revealed at Phase 2 of NHL Draft Lottery

2020 NHL Draft: Winner of No. 1 pick revealed at Phase 2 of NHL Draft Lottery

After the No. 1 pick went to a placeholder team — that would be eliminated in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in the NHL's 24-team postseason under the Return to Play program — in Phase 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery in June, the top pick for the 2020 NHL Draft was awarded to an actual team in Phase 2 of the lottery on Monday. 

The New York Rangers won the No. 1 overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft on Monday during Phase 2 of the lottery.

The Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets were also in the running and all had a 12.5% chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick along with the Rangers in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.

The No. 1 pick of this year's draft is expected to be forward Alexis Lafrenière, who registered 35 goals and 77 assists for a league-leading 112 points in 52 games this season with the Rimouski Océanic of the QMJHL, where he also served as the team captain. 

No team has held the No. 1 pick finishing better than 26th in the standings since the 1995 NHL Draft, and no team made the top pick after playing in a postseason series since the Minnesota North Stars in the 1983 NHL Draft.

The 2020 NHL Draft is scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10. It was originally scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which paused the NHL on March 12.

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