Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
By Michael O'Brien
Mike Shaw and Nnanna Egwu have the hopes of the Illinois fan base on their shoulders. The two big men are the backbone of Bruce Webers 2011 recruiting class, and their head-to-head matchup on Friday at St. Ignatius was a long-awaited, sold-out affair.
But Dre Henley stole the show. The uncommitted senior scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. His fierce all-around game helped will the No. 7 Meteors to a 49-44 Catholic League North win over the host and No. 24 Wolfpack.
The 6-7 guard may be getting a bit frustrated that his college plans arent set yet.
I dont know what these college coaches are looking for, Henley said. I just go out and play the game.
Shaw came up big when the Meteors needed him most, coming out of a scrum with a crucial rebound with 54 seconds to play and De La Salle clinging to a two-point lead.
The Meteors made three of six free throws from that point on, good enough to win.
You just have to hang in there on the road, De La Salle coach Tom White said. It was rough with that crowd going crazy.
Shaw finished with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guard Jaylon Tate added eight points and three rebounds for the Meteors (15-2, 5-1).
Im happy we pulled it out, Shaw said. They young guys really helped us get it done at the end.
Egwu scored 12 points, grabbed three rebounds and had two blocks. Shaw said he didnt speak with Egwu before the game.
Were cool, Shaw said. But we dont talk all that much. Thats something were going to have to do.
Junior Brian Howard led St. Ignatius (12-4, 5-1) with 15 points and Tyronne Staggers added 12 points and five rebounds.
De La Salle jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead and never trailed in the game. The Wolfpack held the Meteors to only one field goal in the last nine minutes of the game. But De La Salle got to the line for 16 free throws to stay in the lead.
Our chemistry is getting better and better, Shaw said. The young guys are getting used to playing with Henley.