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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
9:47 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is your source for prep basketball highlights in Chicagoland! Were covering all compass points in this Fridays edition of High School Lites, including a key DuPage Valley showdown between 14 Glenbard East and West Aurora.

Well head north to check in with 3 Warren and Stevenston. Our cameras will also travel to the south side for a key Catholic League matchip between Hales Franciscan and Fenwick. Also, Luke Stuckmeyer visits Eisenhower High School to witness a rather unique offense run by head coach Mike Curta including an emphasis on three-pointers and substitutions that are reminiscent of a hockey game.

Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

Hubbard @ (23) Curie, 4:00pm

Is there such a thing as a quiet 17-1 team? If so, the 23rd-ranked Condors might fit the bill. They racked up another win Wednesday night over King, 90-67. Greg Travis had a solid night (16 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five steals). The visiting Greyhounds will face a stiff challenge, but they do have a few threats of their own. Cleo Jones and Javon Fields each scored in double figures in Wednesdays 76-67 win over Chicago Richards.

Palatine @ Vernon Hills, 6:00pm

Palatine hasnt had the best of luck this season (6-10, 2-2 in the Mid-Suburban West) but they did score a nice victory last week over a Conant team that came into the contest 11-3. Senior guard Peter Bony will have the Pirates in the game. The host Cougars will hope to bounce back from an 81-70 loss to North Chicago. Did you know that Vernon Hills standout wide receiver (and Notre Dame recruit) DaVaris Daniels also is one of the stars on the basketball team?

Lincoln-Way West @ (18) Thornton, 6:30pm

Think the Wildcats will be ready to get the bad tastes out of their mouths? They will have waited almost a week to erase the jarring memories from last weeks stunning 55-53 loss to unranked North Lawndale. Brian Greene Jr. will look to help raise Thorntons record to 14-1. The Warriors will be looking for their first win since December 27th (Oak Forest). They might have their work cut out for them Friday night in Harvey.

(5) Homewood-Flossmoor @ Bolingbrook, 7:00pm

The 5th ranked Vikings bounced back nicely after the tough overtime loss against Benet in the Proviso West championship. They defeated Lincoln-Way East last week behind Julian Lewis 18 points. H-Fs Delvon Rencher should also pose problems for Bolingbrook, who will be looking to erase a three-game skid. The Raiders have played tough, losing those three by a combined 13 points, including a 62-61 heartbreaker against Glenbard West. Devon Hodges, Chad Cooke and Nick Malonga are the go-to guys for Brook.

Fenwick @ (11) Hales-Franciscan, 7:30pm

The Friars were the big story in Chicagoland prep basketball last Friday night as they shocked then 3 De La Salle 49-48. Although they suffered a letdown the very next night against Ridgewood (48-42), the win over the Meteors should serve as a warning flare to the 11th ranked Spartans. Aaron and Aaric Armstead lead the way for Hales, who have won two straight after the Rich South McDipper tournament. Fenwick guard Dylan Barnett is back after missing some time in the Proviso West tournament with a high ankle sprain.

(25) Lyons @ Oak Park-River Forest, 7:30pm

Keep an eye on Lyons Township. Their 81-55 victory over Waukegan, a long-time prestigious program, should serve as a wake-up call for the rest of the opponents on the Lions schedule. Senior guard Nick Zeisloft can flat-out shoot. He scored 20 points and went 5-for-7 from behind the arc in that victory over Waukegan. But OPRF will be a tough out. The Huskies came back from a 10-point deficit to shock Proviso West last Friday 75-68. KaDarryl Bell scored 22 in that one and he will be needed to counter the Lions attack on Friday.

(13) Glenbard East @ West Aurora, 7:30pm

Is this the first big test for Glenbard East? The Rams, 5-0 in the DuPage Valley conference, head out to play a West Aurora teamalso 5-0 in the DVC. Illinois State recruit Johnny Hill and Zack Miller, an NIU recruit will be the ones to contain on GBEs roster. The Rams beat Glenbard North and Naperville North last week. The Blackhawks, who blew out West Chicago (67-34) and slipped past Glenbard North last weekend (55-54), boast high-flying junior Juwan Starks. Jontrel Walker and Jayquan Lee are tough to contain as well.

Stevenson @ (3) Warren, 7:30pm

The Blue Devils are a force to be reckoned with in the northern suburbs. They dismantled Lake Zurich and then beat Lake Forest by double figures last weekend. They go for their third in a row with Nathan Boothe, Darius Paul and Brandon Ferguson (just to name a few) starring as key contributors. Fellow North Suburban Lake foe Stevenson will come to Gurnee looking for their fifth straight win. Ryan Chapman and Michael Fleming, Colby Cashaw and Troy Radtke are keys to the Patriot attack.

St. Ignatius @ St. Joseph, 7:30pm

Nnanna Igwu is one of the dominant big men in the state. And the 6-10 senior might have St. Ignatius making some noise in the playoffs in the near future. They have won three straight, including a 58-40 decision over St. Rita last Friday. Igwu led all scorers with 23 points. Its been a tough season for St. Joseph so far, but a recent two game winning streak could have the Chargers headed back towards respectability. Joe Edwards, Reggie Johnson and Cameron Harvey will look to give St. Joes their third straight win Friday in Westchester.

GIRLS: Joliet West @ (1) Bolingbrook, 5:30pm

Will Bolingbrook be looking ahead to their Monday showdown against 3 Montini at Willowbrooks McDonalds Shootout? Well find out that answer Friday night as the Raiders battle a Joliet West team that has won three of their last four, including a 58-38 victory over Joliet Central Wednesday night. Bolingbrook, anchored by Morgan Tuck, Taylor Tuck and Ariel Massengale, is one of the elite high school girls basketball programs in the country. They have won their last four games by an average of 29 points, including a 98-37 triumph over Lockport last week.

THURSDAY GAMES:

(15) Crane 57, Marshall 53

Willie Connor scored 18 points and Kieran Woods tallied 16 more as the 15th ranked Cougars beat the Commandos in another hotly contested game in the storied rivalry. The Cougars 14-0 second quarter run offset 29 turnovers on the night and a 5-14 free throw mark from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Marshalls Keifer Sykes (17 points), Shamon Monck 11 points) and Marlon Sykes (9 points) paced the Commando attack.

(13) Farragut 51, (4) Whitney Young 49

The Admirals get a huge upset win on the road. DJ Tolliver made some key baskets down the stretchpart of his 21 points on the night. Whitney Young had key contributions from Ohio State recruit Sam Thompson. He had 11 points but it was not enough, as Farragut iced the game late with free throws. Farragut got the win without the help of their center, Rashaun Stimage, who has a broken hand. Youngs Luke Hager missed a three pointer from the corner as time expired.

Check us out this Friday night at 10:30. High School Lites streams live at csnchicago.com.

Carlos Boozer says Nate Robinson was one of his favorite teammate because 'he would bring snacks to every flight'

Carlos Boozer says Nate Robinson was one of his favorite teammate because 'he would bring snacks to every flight'

Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson only played one season together with the Bulls. But oh, what a memorable campaign it was.

And it produced a friendship that still lasts to this day. Cupcakes and snacks will do just that.

Boozer retold a story to NBC Sports Chicago on Tuesday of Robinson and his daughter, Navyi, baking cupcakes for Bulls players on road trips.

"We had so much fun. Me and Nate hit it off right away," Boozer said. "We're both very animated, we're both very loud, we talk a lot, we're great teammates. We love playing passionately, we compete.

"Nate is one of the best teammates I ever had. I played my whole life, I've been playing a long time and he's the only teammate that would bring snacks to every flight. And we'd travel on the road, he would bake us cupcakes for every road game. I never had that before.

"Him and his daughter, Navyi, would bake the cupcakes before every road game. So every road game we'd get to the plane and Nate would hook us up with cupcakes.

"Just a great teammate. He'd go through a brick wall for you, never complained, practice every day, play every day, ready to come and give it his best."

Boozer and Robinson will face off against each other during the Big3 Tournament, which begins this weekend in Houston. The league will travel to Chicago and the United Center on June 29.

"I'm looking forward to being in Chicago," Boozer said. "We've got a lot of great fans out there. I miss the (United Center), miss that Chicagotime summer weather and looking forward to getting back out there in a couple weeks."

Boozer's Ghost Ballers and Robinson's Tri-State team won't square off against one another until Week 5 in Miami. But it's sure to be a fun matchup for the two friends and snack buddies.

"He's one of my brothers, one of my closest friends," Boozer said. "Nate has been training like an animal and he's gonna use this platform to show everybody how much skills he has, also to get back into the NBA. Nate's a great talent and I'm looking forward to seeing him get down."

Boozer's team includes co-captains Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis, which gives them a pretty solid trio heading into the event. But no teammate, NBA or Big3, can match Nate Rob and his cupcakes.

Check out more on the Big3 right here.

Why what Mike Montgomery did against LA could go a long way toward keeping him in the Cubs' rotation

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USA Today

Why what Mike Montgomery did against LA could go a long way toward keeping him in the Cubs' rotation

Joe Maddon needed Mike Montgomery to get through at least six innings given the circumstances presenting the Cubs' manager before Game 2 of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Not only were the Cubs short a man in the bullpen (thanks to Brandon Morrow’s pants-related back injury), but Maddon had to use four relievers — including Pedro Strop for two innings — after Tyler Chatwood managed only five innings in Game 1 earlier in the afternoon. 

So when Montgomery — who had only thrown over 100 pitches once in the last two and a half seasons before Tuesday — saw his pitch count sit at 40 after two innings, and then 63 after three, he knew he needed to regroup to avoid creating a mess for the Cubs’ bullpen. 

What followed was a start that, statistically, wasn’t the most impressive of the five Montgomery’s made since re-joining the Cubs’ rotation earlier this year. But it was an important start in that the 28-year-old left-hander didn’t have his best stuff, yet didn’t give in to a good Dodgers lineup. And holding that bunch to one run over six innings was exactly what the Cubs needed in what turned out to be a 2-1 extra-inning win. 

“Especially when you don’t have have your best stuff, you always gotta — that’s when you really learn how to pitch,” Montgomery said. 

It’s also the kind of start that could be a major point in Montgomery’s favor when Maddon is presented with a decision to make on his starting rotation whenever Yu Darvish comes off the disabled list. Knowing that Montgomery can grind his way through six innings when his team needs it the most without his best stuff only can add to the confidence the Cubs have in him. 

Montgomery didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday, issuing more walks (four) than he had in his previous four starts (three). He threw 48 pitches between the second and third innings, and only 25 of those pitches were strikes. Of the nine times the Dodgers reached base against Montgomery, six were the result of fastballs either leading to a walk or a hit. 

Even though the Dodgers were able to bother Montgomery a bit on his fastball, Maddon said that’s the pitch of his that’s impressed him the most over the last few weeks. 

“He never got rushed,” Maddon said. “In the past he would seem to get rushed when things weren’t going well, when he spot-started. Overall, fastball command is better — even though he was off a little bit tonight, the fastball command still exceeds what I’ve seen in the past couple of years on a more consistent basis. The changeup, really, good pitch. He got out of some jams but I think the fact that he knows where his fastball is going now is the difference-maker for him.”

Darvish will throw a simulated game on Wednesday after throwing two bullpen sessions last week. Maddon still doesn’t have a timetable for the $126 million right-hander’s return, and said he’s not entertaining what to do with his rotation until Darvish comes off the disabled list. But Maddon did mention Montgomery’s relative lack of an innings load — the most he’s thrown in a season in 130 2/3, which he did in 2017 — as a reason to perhaps not rush him into a permanent starting role the rest of the season. Going to a six-man rotation is a possibility, too, Maddon said. 

But the over-arching point is this: Montgomery will remain in the Cubs’ rotation as long as he keeps earning it. That can be the product of strong outings in which he has good stuff, or games like Tuesday in which he shows the Cubs the kind of resiliency most starters need to get through a full season. 

“I pitch well, good things happen,” Montgomery said. “I’ve always thought that. Opportunities, you just gotta make the most of them.”