By Patrick McGavin
Tim Williams knew it was time to reverse the tide. After Von Steuben narrowed a 16-point deficit to nine late in the third quarter, Williams got his chance. The Homewood-Flossmoor 6-7 senior threw down a dunk in traffic that restored the Vikings inside dominance.Closing out the third quarter in style, the play ignited a 8-0 Homewood-Flossmoor run at the start of the fourth quarter the No. 16 Vikings rode to the 58-36 victory in the first-round of the Proviso West Holiday tournament Tuesday in Hillside.Homewood-Flossmoor advances to meet New Trier in Wednesdays quarterfinals.Williams produced game-high totals of 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Vikings (8-2).I saw that they were making their little run, and I knew I had to do something to get us pumped up and back into the game, Williams said. That dunk got us started again.Williams stayed hot at the start of the fourth quarter, opening the period with two free throws and a putback. His excitement at returning to Proviso West was clear after he missed last years tournament with a broken ankle.I was very happy to be back and I just happy to make plays, especially since this is my senior year, he said.Williams play helped balloon the lead to 48-29, effectively ending the game. Homewood-Flossmoors size and length suffocated Von Steuben (4-3) to start the game as they jumped out to a 14-3 advantage. The Panthers shot 1-12 in the first quarter and scored only on Demetrius Faulkners three-point play at the 2:38 mark.Delvon Rencher scored 13 point for the Vikings. We knew we had the size advantage and we had to use that, he said. Having Tim back at the tournament is huge, because you see, he really impacts the game. Reserve swingman Willie Lipsey added seven points for the Vikings.Senior guard Jalen Delaney was the only consistent Von Steuben offensive threat who scored 15 points. Deqon Horn added eight points.Their length and size gave us a lot of problems, Von Steuben coach Vince Carter said. We had some pretty good shots but they bothered us with their size. Guard for guard, we were able to play with them but our big kids dont have the experience or skill to play against that kind of size.Coming off last years overtime championship loss to Benet, the Vikings are trying to advance to the finals for the fourth time in the last eight years. For the seniors, this is the last time were together and weve progressed each year and hopefully go farther than last year, Rencher said.
LONDON, Ont. — Patrick Kane will forever be linked to the London Knights after having his No. 88 jersey retired on Friday in a special pregame ceremony. And it was an emotional moment for the Blackhawks superstar, which doesn’t happen often.
“I didn’t really expect that,” Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. “I didn’t know what to expect, to be honest with you. I spent one year here. It was a great year. It felt like more than one year with all the memories I made here and all the friends and relationships I have today.
"The video was pretty special. Obviously with the things that happened in London but even more-so maybe the things that happened in Chicago and everything coming together. You’re just standing there and that’s your career over 13 years, so I think that started hitting me.”
Kane became the ninth player in Knights history to have his number retired, but the first to receive the honor after playing just one season. It’s because it was a historic one.
As a 17-year-old, Kane registered 62 goals and 83 assists for a league-leading 145 points in 58 games during the 2006-07 campaign and was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year. He went on to post 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 16 playoff games before falling short in the Conference finals.
But before he committed to the Knights, Kane wasn't drawing as much attention as he would've thought. Draft experts projected him to go in the third round and Kane wasn't buying it.
“I couldn't believe it to be honest with you,” Kane said. “I thought I was a lot better than that."
Did he ever prove them wrong.
Kane quickly started to separate himself from the pack in London, and after a strong performance at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, his name was now being discussed for No. 1 overall. And that's exactly what happened.
“Just coming here, not really worrying about that stuff,” Kane said of the draft hype. “I mean, obviously there's outside noise when it's your draft year but I always said the ice rink is my sanctuary out there. That's what I love to do the most and feel the most comfortable, is being on the ice and playing hockey, making plays and trying to score goals.”
Back in London, Kane got a chance to reflect on how far he's come since his days with the Knights. He's a three-time Stanley Cup champion and a former Hart Trophy winner who's still at the top of his game at age 31.
But touring his old locker room — which he said "looks the exact same" — was a reminder for Kane on how quickly his hockey career has flown by.
"It's crazy to think I'm in my 13th year now," Kane said. "We were just looking for our team picture in the room and I was way too far from the recent teams to where I should've been looking. A little bit of time has passed."
A lot of time has passed, but Kane's impact on the organization and community is everlasting.
Screaming young fans in No. 88 Blackhawks jerseys were in awe that Kane was within reaching distance. He signed autographs, took pictures with as many as he could, shook the hand of longtime faculty members and arena workers that he recognized from his playing days in London and smiled his way around the Budweiser Gardens — which Kane knows as The John Labatt Centre.
Kane even gave the Knights a pep talk in the locker room before the game. Even though he didn't play in London very long, it says something about your legacy when aspiring players are choosing to play for the Knights because they look up to No. 88.
“That’s what it’s all about right there,” Kane said. “I remember being a little kid and looking up to certain hockey players too and wanting to be just like them, so if that’s the way this younger generation looks at me, that’s what it’s all about for me. I enjoy that. That excites me, that makes me happy.”
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On this edition of the Bulls Outsiders podcast, Matt Peck, John Sabine, and David Watson react to the Bulls 100-89 loss to Philadelphia.
1:00 - On Lauri Markkanen going scoreless in the second half
3:50 - Viewer comment on Lauri needs to be traded
6:10 - On Kornet vs Markkanen’s production
6:55 - On Zach LaVine and 0 for 7 from three
10:05 - Viewer comment on Markkanen struggling
11:25 - Viewer comment wanting Joakim Noah back
13:00 - Viewer comment saying Lauri needs to demand the ball
15:45 - Viewer comment on Sabine’s outfit
16:50 - On the national perspective of this Bulls team
19:05 - Matt Peck rant on Denzel Valentine getting another DNP
21:00 - More viewer comments on Sabine’s outfit
22:05 - Viewer comment on the system and Markkanen
23:30 - Lauri tweets the correct way to pronounce his name
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: