Bears

Strong defense lifts St. Rita over Hales

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Strong defense lifts St. Rita over Hales

By Dan Ruane
Yourseason.com

St. Rita turned up the defense in the third quarter and blew past Catholic League South foe Hales Franciscan on the way to a 59-45 victory before a packed house Friday at Hales.

The biggest beneficiary of the defensive pressure was Tony Hicks. The senior guard scored 21 of his game-high 30 points in the second half.

St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare didnt chew us out at halftime," Hicks said. He just let us know what we were doing wrong. We werent playing defense like we can and we were taking too many jump shots.

The Mustangs (5-3, 3-0) trailed 24-22 at half and were shooting just 26 percent from the floor. On top of that, Rita produced just five turnovers in the first half. All of that changed from the very start of the third quarter. Freshman Charles Matthews got it started by forcing two turnovers and scoring layups off of them. That spurt was the start of a quarter that saw the Mustangs outscore Hales 18-3 and take a 40-27 lead.

Charles did it with his defense, DeCesare said. He got a couple of steals and some easy baskets off of that and that got us going.

Hicks scored 12 points in the third quarter with all but two of them coming on layups from fast breaks. Those opportunities came off of steals or Hales missed shots. The Spartans (3-5, 0-3) made only one basket in the third quarter.

They were focusing on stopping Tony in the first half, DeCesare said. I just told him to relax and the shots will fall.

One of the more unusual moments of the game came late in the game with Cullen Foulks at the line for Rita. He missed the front end of a one-and-one and nobody moved except for Hicks who slammed home the rebound for his final points of the game.

My guy was so busy talking trash to me that he forgot to box me out, Hicks said.

Jordan Watson came off the bench to lead Hales with 13 points and Shaquon Alexander chipped in 12.

Lynch, Trevathan still sidelined at Bears camp

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USA Today

Lynch, Trevathan still sidelined at Bears camp

The Chicago Bears fielded a top-10 defense in 2017 and expectations for 2018 may be even higher for a unit that is returning almost all of its key starters.

One of the few offseason additions on defense was outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has familiarity with during his time in San Francisco and who he hopes will emerge as a pass-rushing complement to Leonard Floyd.

Unfortunately, the Bears have yet to see what that pairing looks like during training camp. Lynch remains sidelined with a bum hamstring. He, along with Danny Trevathan, who's also battling a hamstring issue, missed Monday's practice.

Other Bears to sit out include rookie LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB Kasim Edeball, TE Ben Braunecker and rookie CB Kevin Toliver.

Chicago's linebackers have been beaten up by injuries so far in camp, something that may have contributed to the release of undrafted rookie OL Jeremi Hall. It's unlikely the Bears will keep that roster spot open and they could look to add another linebacker to the training camp roster.

Kyle Long and Allen Robinson were given scheduled rest/maintenance days. Both key starters are recovering from injury and will continue to be monitored throughout the summer.

Bears waive OL Jeremi Hall

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USA Today

Bears waive OL Jeremi Hall

The first casualty of Chicago Bears training camp took place with the release of undrafted rookie free agent Jeremi Hall, the team announced Monday.

Hall was a longshot to make the final roster after signing with the team in May after a tryout at minicamp. He started 24 games at left guard for the Bulls and was a First Team All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2017. 

The Bears have been dealing with injury issues at linebacker throughout the first few days of camp and may need the roster spot to bring in another player for the defense's second level.