Preps Talk

Montini takes down Geneva

Montini takes down Geneva

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
12:45 PM

By Patrick Z. McGavin
YourSeason.com

Whitney Holloway looked at the scoreboard to start the fourth quarter and knew something had to give.

"We knew somebody was going to get a run, and we wanted to make sure it was us that got the run and not them," the Montini senior guard said.

Holloway scored 17 points and registered three steals, two assists and two rebounds to lead the No. 3 Broncos past No. 5 Geneva 55-44 in the championship game of the Vikings Thanksgiving tournament Saturday afternoon.

The game was tied at 34 entering the final quarter. Holloway scored five of her total in the fourth quarter. "We picked up our defense a lot and really got after them," said Holloway, named the tournament most valuable player.

The defending Class 3A state champions ended the Vikings 57-game regular season winning streak. "We knew about the streak," Holloway said. "Geneva's a big time program, and it's always nice to be the one that ended a streak like that."

Holloway and senior forward Whitney Adams (16 points, eight rebounds) helped the Broncos break the game open. Junior center Tianna Brown added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Broncos (4-0). Senior guard Kiki Wilson contributed nine points.

Adams scored on two put backs and Brown scored inside off a beautiful Adams assist in the team's game-changing 12-2 run. After hitting two free throws, Adams delivered the dagger with a three-pointer from the right baseline for the 46-36 lead.

"I was open and our coach Jason Nichols says to be aggressive and look to score in that situation," Holloway said.

Geneva star senior guard Kat Yelle led the Vikings (3-1) with 15 points. The Vikings trailed by as many as eight in the first half. Down 28-22 at the break, Geneva scored the first eight points of the third quarter. Geneva seized its only lead on a Sammy Scofield lay up off a Montini turnover.

After the three ties of the third quarter, Montini limited Geneva to just 3-14 from the field in the decisive fourth quarter. Junior Ashley Santos added 10 points for the Vikings.

"I thought our big three big Holloway, Adams, Wilson played very well," Nichols said. And Tianna Brown did a lot of nice things on the inside block.

"Geneva's a very athletic team, with excellent guards and the game was sloppy at times, but when you play good competition this early, it's good to get the victory."

Preseason Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 2 Morgan Park

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Preseason Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 2 Morgan Park

Morgan Park

2017-18 record: 25-9, 7-2 Public League Red-South/Central

Postseason results: Won Class 3A state title for second consecutive season.

Players to watch: Junior guard Adam Miller returns after a promising sophomore season. After a solid summer, Miller is viewed as a consensus top-75 national prospect in his class. Another junior guard, Marcus Watson, also returns after getting extended run last season as he's another major threat in the Morgan Park backcourt. And Lincoln Park point guard Chris Roberts transferred in to give the Mustangs another quality ball-handler and scorer.

Why they're in the power rankings: Coming off of back-to-back state titles for the second time this decade, Morgan Park will attempt its first three-peat this season. With a dynamic backcourt that includes big-name players like Miller, Watson and Roberts, this should be another season in which Morgan Park is a big favorite to make noise in Class 3A. Frontcourt stability and depth will be the key for Morgan Park's season as they have to find complementary pieces for the stars.

Did you know? Morgan Park has some of the most impressive postseason streaks in the state. The Mustangs have been a state qualifier in five of the last six seasons, a sectional champion in six straight seasons and a regional champion in eight straight seasons. 

Justin Holiday continues to string together solid efforts amid tough Bulls losses

holiday.jpg
USA TODAY

Justin Holiday continues to string together solid efforts amid tough Bulls losses

The Bulls came out on fire against the Bucks, putting up 40 points in an explosive first quarter. Unfortunately they followed that up by scoring 41 points in the second half. But the offense of Jabari Parker and Justin Holiday was pretty much the only thing working for Chicago on Friday night.


Holiday’s effectiveness as an aggressive, dependable floor-spacer continues to showcase what makes him such a valuable NBA player. Unfortunately, that value has been mostly squandered on a Bulls team that lacks a diverse offensive attack.

Holiday contributed 9 points on 3-3 shooting from the 3-point line in the first quarter. He kept this momentum rolling in the second, and ended up not missing a single shot in the first half. Holiday ended the first half 6-6 from the 3-point line but went on to only score once more in the second half. He ended the game with 20 points, the second-leading scorer on the night for Chicago.


On a night where Zach LaVine was clearly gassed from the burden of carrying the offense all season (6-20 from the field), only Parker could provide a solid secondary option. Parker’s effectiveness also tapered off dramatically in the second half, as he stopped taking 3-pointers and didn’t get to the free throw line at all. Early season struggles were to be expected from Parker, as he is on a new team with a roster full of young players. But his shot selection is what has been so frustrating to watch. 

Results do not have to be immediate, but seeing as Parker is taking a greater percentage of his shots from long 2-point range than last season, it is clear he hasn’t fully bought in to the idea of getting all the way to the basket or shooting the 3-pointer without hesitation. And that is why players like Holiday—one of Hoiberg’s loyal soldiers from his first year as Bulls coach—are so crucial.

It is clear that Hoiberg’s preferred playing style has stuck with Holiday and hopefully, that it can rub off on the other players.

We have discussed before how his 3-point attempt rate (72 percent) is the perfect indicator of how often he is hunting the 3-point shot. But the problem is that this current Bulls roster needs more players who create 3-point looks for others, rather than knock them down.

Heading into Friday night’s game, Holiday had been assisted on 72 percent of his 2-point shots and 95 percent of his 3-point shots. This season, he has been assisted on 57 percent of his 2-point shots and 90 percent of his 3-point shots. This is an alarming sign for the Holiday, as he has never been a player known for creating his own shot and the decline in assisted baskets means he is being forced outside of his comfort zone on offense.

It is no coincidence that Holiday’s 3-point percentage in November (35 percent) is lower than his 3-point percentage in October (40 percent). He played 34 minutes per game in October before that number got increased to 37 minutes per game in November. Holiday has been in the top 10 in minutes all year and there is no end in sight for his tremendous minutes load with the Bulls being so thin on the wing.

The 2019 NBA offseason for Chicago will likely be about finding players they can comfortably play at the small forward spot. But Bulls fans should appreciate Holiday’s play while he’s here, as he has been one of the team’s more consistent players. Holiday has done a decent amount of leading by example—especially when it comes to playing the way Hoiberg wants to—and continues to show why he can continue to be a valuable piece on this Bulls team.