Preps Talk

St. Anthony takes down Okawville in overtime for 1A boys title

St. Anthony takes down Okawville in overtime for 1A boys title

PEORIA, ILL. (AP) — Drew Gibson just couldn't get going against Okawville's nagging defense during Saturday's IHSA Class 1a state title game. Averaging 21 points a game entering the title match, Gibson had just 10 points during regulation of the Bulldogs' 49-46 overtime win.

But he shined when his team needed him the most.

Gibson hit an 8-foot jumper with 25 seconds left in overtime and then hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to lead St. Anthony to its first boys basketball state title.

"They did a great job of stopping up the middle and not letting me get inside," Gibson said. "My teammates hit some big shots and really helped us."

The Bulldogs initially pulled away over the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second. St. Anthony went on an 11-0, 6-minute run during that span, taking an 8-8 tie game to 19-8 Bulldogs. But Okawville only allowed two more points in the half and closed to 23-16 at the break.

The Bulldogs created 10 points off eight Rockets turnovers in the first half but it was the Rockets that took advantage of mistakes in the second half. Okawville had just four points off turnovers in the first half but created 11 in the second and held St. Anthony to none after the break.

"We did a better job dictating the game in the second half but it just wasn't quite enough," Okawville coach Jon Kraus said. "We just couldn't get a stop when we needed it. It's a shame someone had to lose that game."

Alex Beesley also scored 14, most in the first half, and Adam Levitt added 12 for the Bulldogs (31-5).

Noah Frederking scored 26 and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Okawville. Shane Ganz added nine points and handed out five assists for the Rockets (32-5) but was just 1-for-4 from the free throw line, including a missed front end of a one-and-one with 5 seconds to go in overtime that would have tied the game.

62 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln Park

62 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln Park

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

 

School: Lincoln Park

Head coach: Vince DeFrancesco

Assistant coaches: Steve Karoff, Grant Magnuson, Tyler Clark, Brandon Randolph, Alex Green and Tom Dellota

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (7-0 Chicago Public League Chicago Big Shoulders Conference). Lincoln Park made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Lions lost to Alton in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ IWT Speer

Sept. 1 vs. Kenwood

Sept. 7 vs. Hubbard

Sept. 14 @ Phillips

Sept. 21 vs. Lane Tech

Sept. 28 vs. Taft

Oct. 5 vs. Westinghouse

Oct. 12 vs. Raby

Oct. 19 vs. Morgan Park

Biggest storyline: The Lions' new conference. Can Lincoln Park keep its winning ways when they start playing in the CPL/Illini Land of Lincoln this fall?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Dane Romberger and DB Jalen Jenkins

Biggest holes to fill: The Lions will need to reload on the offensive side of the football this summer with just three starters back this fall.

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Vince DeFrancesco's Lions have been on a nice roll, getting to the IHSA state playoffs in each of his past three seasons (four straight for the school overall). However, the price for the Lions' success is extremely high. The CPL Illini Land of Lincoln is loaded. The schedule includes the likes of Kenwood, Hubbard, Phillips, Raby and Morgan Park...just to name a few. If the Lions can develop their less experienced offense this summer, all the better for them.

63 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

63 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Shepard

Head coach: John Rone

Assistant coaches: Andrew Porter, Ron Rivera, Chris Lewis, Ryan McGuire and Clint Connelly

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (5-1 South Suburban Red Conference). Shepard made the Class 6A state football playoff field. The Astros lost to Marmion Academy in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Leyden

Sept. 1 @ Stagg

Sept 7 vs Hillcrest

Sept. 14 vs Eisenhower

Sept. 21 @ Richards

Sept. 28 @ Oak Lawn

Oct. 5 vs Reavis

Oct. 12 vs Evergreen Park

Oct. 19 @ Argo

Biggest storyline: First-year head coach John Rone. Can the Astros challenge once again for the South Suburban Red conference title under a new head coach?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Chris Harrison and TE/DE Kevin Graham

Biggest holes to fill: The Astros bring back 10 returning starters (five offense, five defense). Overall depth could also be a concern.  

EDGY's Early Take: Shepard will be led by former Eisenhower assistant Rone, who was able to retain an experienced staff at Shepard. It will help ease the transition from former head coach Dominic Passolano this summer. If the Astros can get off to a good early start they have the overall talent to again make a state playoff appearance in 2018. Can they challenge conference power Richards in the South Suburban Red race?