Cubs

Parker's return lifts No. 8 Thornton over Andrew

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Parker's return lifts No. 8 Thornton over Andrew

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
10:59 p.m.

By Michael O'Brien
YourSeason.com

Its been a frustrating three weeks for Thornton senior Jay Parker, missing games and practice with a sprained right ankle.

But he was right where the Wildcats needed him Friday, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter to help No. 8 Thornton knock off visiting Andrew 66-54.

A free throw from highly-regarded sophomore Jubril Adekoya with 6:44 to play in the game cut Thorntons lead to five points thats when Parker took over. He drained a three, converted a steal and layup, made another three and then threw the assist on DeChaun Williams dunk.

(The ankle) felt good, Parker said. I was missing a lot of shots in the beginning of the game, but my teammates kept looking for me.

Parker finished with 14 points. Williams and Brian Greene Jr. each added 11 for the Wildcats (17-1, 8-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue).

Parker came back strong, Thornton coach Troy Jackson said. You have to give him a lot of credit coming right in and doing that coming off an injury."

Andrew was completely unable to handle Thorntons full-court press defense. The Thunderbolts turned the ball over 26 times.

It actually didnt bother them the first time we played, Jackson said. Maybe not being able to practice this week bothered them.

Andrew led throughout the first quarter, but the Wildcats dominated the second and scored the first five points of the third quarter to lead 35-22.

The Thunderbolts cut the lead down to four and five points multiple times before Parker turned it on in the fourth quarter.

It was my time to score I guess, Parker said. We have a lot of guys on this team that can score and we can all handle the ball. The past few years Ive handled it a lot, its nice to know sometimes I can focus on scoring if I have to.

Junior Alex Zappavigna led Andrew (10-8, 4-4) with 20 points and five rebounds. Adekoya scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Adekoya is going to be a real good one, Jackson said. They have a few young players, Andrew has a bright future.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 18th homer of June and 31st of the season came off the Tigers in the Cubs' brief 2-game Interleague series in Detroit. 

Sosa connected in the first inning off Tigers starter Seth Greisinger, going back-to-back with Mickey Morandini. 

The Cubs wound up getting out to a 5-0 start in the game but still lost 7-6 on a Gabe Alvarez single in the bottom of the 11th.

The aforementioned Morandini homer was only the 3rd of the season for the Cubs second baseman. He finished with 8 homers on the year and 224 total bases on 172 hits in what was a very good offensive season. Yet it paled in comparison to Sosa, who had nearly 200 more total bases (416) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points above Morandini's (.647 to .471), a testament to how truly incredible Sosa's season was.

Fun fact: Tony Clark was the Tigers' cleanup hitter that day. Clark is now the head of the MLB Players Union.

Fun fact No. 2: Paul Bako was the Detroit catcher in the game. He later became the Cubs backup catcher in 2003 and 2004, when he posted a .611 OPS in 119 games over the two years.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.