High School Lites Hoops Preview: Week 2

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High School Lites Hoops Preview: Week 2

Whose side are you on? A classic south side-west side matchup will highlight this weeks episode of High School Lites on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Top-ranked Simeon, led by national talent Jabari Parker, takes on Farragut at North Park University. Can the Terrell brothers (Deonte and Alante) guide the Admirals to an upset?

We also spotlight a huge early-season game in the Catholic North as De La Salle travels to St. Joseph. Here is a snapshot of each game Comcast SportsNet will be covering this week on High School Lites. All rankings reflect the CSN Top 20:

THURSDAY GAMES

Uplift (0-6) @ 5 Curie (1-0), 5:30pm

Its a busy week for Curie, who will travel to the Assembly Hall Saturday for the Shootout At The Hall to take on Champaign Centennial. 6-9 sophomore Cliff Alexander and senior guard Devin Foster will get the most looks this season for the Condors. Foster scored 30 points in Curies 81-71 win over Bowman (IN) on Saturday. Uplifts record might stand at 0-6, but their schedule hasnt exactly been light. Theyve faced undefeated Mundelein, DuSable and took 5-2 Barrington to the games final moments.

Glenbrook South (2-5) @ 16 New Trier (6-1), 6:30pm

Dartmouth-bound Connor Boehm, a 6-8 forward, is looking to lead the Trevians far beyond last years pedestrian 15-12 finish. He scored 18 points and grabbed five boards in Tuesday nights 58-47 win over Niles West. New Triers only loss this season has been to 2 Warren. Glenbrook South is coming off a heartbreaking 52-49 loss to Waukegan Tuesday in the final seconds. Jamie Nikitas and Victor Levi will figure to make an impact for the Titans.

FRIDAY GAMES

Addison Trail (4-2) @ 4 Proviso East (5-0), 6:00pm

The fourth-ranked Pirates are not a one-man show. Their roster, with St. Louis recruit Keith Carter, Sterling Brown (Shannon Brown's brother), Trashaun Carroll and Paris Lee, could make a deep playoff run in March. They are coming off a 79-50 win over Raby on Saturday. The Blazers are also riding high off a 51-46 victory over Evergreen Park Monday night. Vince Beltrano tallied 15 points and Gunther Sauck added 14 more. Will they have the depth to match up with East?

Rich East (2-3) @ 11 Crete-Monee (3-1), 6:30pm

C-M features a couple of familiar names...for different reasons. Former Hillcrest coach Tom Cappel is now patrolling the sidelines for the Warriors. And LaQuon Treadwell, who was a force at wide receiver for the football team, is also one of the go-to guys on the court. The Warriors feature standout guards in Michael Orris and Marvie Keith. Rich East will contend this year, thanks to guard Raheem Jackson. Coach George Leonard should also get contributions from Anthony Perkins and Ron Lawton.

Stagg (5-1) @ 17 Andrew (4-0), 7:00pm

It's the home opener for the Thunderbolts, CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week. Their road resume has looked pretty good to this point. They have already defeated the aforementioned Crete-Monee Warriors and also went into Harvey to take down Thornton. Brothers Jawad and Jubril Adekoya lead the attack. Stagg figures to be another tough challenge, though. 6-6 junior Sean Dwyer is one of the more versatile players in the area. His height speaks for itself, but he can also hit threes.

10 De La Salle (5-1) @ 12 St. Joseph (3-2), 7:30pm

The 10th-ranked Meteors bounced back in a huge way Tuesday night, defeating 13 Farragut 62-50 after Friday's heartbreaking loss to St. Rita. Alvin Ellis, Gavin Schilling and Alex Foster all scored in double figures. However, De La Salle can't ease off the gas, as a formidable Catholic North opponent awaits. Gene Pingatore's crew has some height to match up against a tall Meteor squad, namely in 6-8 junior A.J. Patty. Look for Reggie Johnson to contribute for the Chargers as well.
1 Simeon (2-0) vs. 13 Farragut (2-2), 7:30pm at North Park University

The good news for Farragut? They should be battle-tested. And angry. Rashaun Stimage scored 19 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday night against 10th-ranked De La Salle, but it was not enough, as Farragut lost by 12. A much tougher test, though, awaits as the top-ranked Wolverines are lurking. Simeon has the deepest roster in the state, with forwards Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor and guard Kendrick Nunn running the show. They are 2-0 after a 73-53 win over Notre Dame on Sunday.

6 Downers Grove South (5-1) @ 20 Morton (4-0), 7:30pm

Jerron Wilbut, Downers Grove Souths dynamic guard, did not play in the teams last game against Oak Park-River Forest. Head coach Jay Baum said he will play this Friday against a Morton team who has posted quality wins against Centennial, Fenwick, Lyons and Willowbrook. Senior center Rocco Belcaster is their go-to guy. Downers Grove South and Morton will need to keep pace with Proviso East in the West Suburban Gold conference race.
Girls: Niles West (10-0) @ Maine South (9-1), 7:30pm

The visiting Wolves are coming off a huge win check that, routof a talented New Trier team. Notre Dame-bound Jewell Lloyd is the key to Wests attack. She scored 25 points and pulled in 15 rebounds in the 45-23 victory. Maine South did one better than Niles West Tuesday nightliterally. They scored a 46-23 victory over Evanston. Michelle Maher had 11 points.

Girls: Proviso East (7-1) @ Whitney Young (4-0), 8:00pm

It should be a good battle between two teams who have potential to go deep into the state playoffs. Youngs Janee Thompson has quite a story. The Kentucky-bound point guard spent most of the 2010-11 season on the sidelines with a torn ACL. She will be relied on quite a bit this season, but Virginia Tech-bound guard Alexis Lloyd and junior guard Linnae Harper are certain to help out as well. Proviso East, coming off a 65-40 win over Willowbrook, has scorers in Jakeisha Wells, Kalea Parks and Jalairia Wells.

Every Friday night at 10:30, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from the Chicagoland basketball courts. We'll also have in-depth feature stories and take a look back down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment.

This week, be sure to check out CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week, the Andrew High School Thunderbolts. As mentioned above, an underrated duo is helping transform this Tinley Park school into a consistent basketball power. Could a deep playoff run be in the mix for the Bolts?

High School Lites streams live every Friday at 10:30pm on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well by leaving comments below the story.

White Sox expect Chris Sale's return to be 'fairly normal'

White Sox expect Chris Sale's return to be 'fairly normal'

It doesn’t sound as if there’s much ambivalence among the White Sox about Chris Sale’s expected return on Thursday.

Manager Robin Ventura said Wednesday he expects things to be “fairly normal” as Sale is scheduled to pitch the finale of the Crosstown series after serving a five-game suspension for insubordination and destruction of team property. Adam Eaton said teammates should have no reservations about Sale’s coming back after his actions Saturday left them in a bit of a bind. And pitching coach Don Cooper said he’s the first to forgive and that everyone has situations they might later wish they’d handled differently.

“Open arms,” Eaton said. “He’s our teammate. He’s our guy. All of the things that are swelling around about his character, who he is as a player … he’s my brother and I enjoy every second with him on and off the field. Can’t be a better person. I’ll be excited to see him and I’m sure he’ll be in the same form he’s been the entire year — go out and perform and be Chris Sale.

“I’m sure he’ll be well-rested and a clear mind for him I’m sure is going to be a good thing. We’ll welcome him back.”

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The pitching staff could use some innings from Sale without question. When he didn’t pitch Saturday, the White Sox filled those innings with a committee of relief pitchers. Prior to Tuesday’s win, the bullpen had pitched 19 1/3 innings the previous four games.

But the White Sox have handled the drama extremely well. They’re 4-0 with one game left in Sale’s suspension and they look forward to having their ace back. Cooper said he hopes to move on, sentiments that were previously echoed by Ventura and executive vice president Kenny Williams.

“Welcome back, let’s go,” Cooper said. “Let’s go to work. Let’s move on. Listen man, who would want to be held responsible for the (stuff) they did at 22, 24, 26, 27, you know what I mean? He’s way too good of a kid. I don’t think anybody would. Everybody screws up from time to time or has some missteps.”

One of the actions that has caught Sale flack is his criticism of Ventura’s handling of the situation. Neither Ventura or Williams responded to Sale’s comment on Tuesday that “Robin is the one who has to fight for us.” Ventura said he wouldn’t have done things any differently and Williams applauded how Hahn and Ventura handled a difficult, “unique” situation.

Ventura said he doesn’t expect much out of the ordinary.

“I think it’s going to be fine,” Ventura said. “Players always have their teammates’ backs, and that’s no different with our clubhouse, and it’s going to be fairly normal, as far as he’s going to be prepared to pitch and our guys are going to prepare to play and it’s going to go from there.”

White Sox C Dioner Navarro has a good story behind the best game of his career

White Sox C Dioner Navarro has a good story behind the best game of his career

There’s a good story behind the best game of Dioner Navarro’s 13-year career. 

On May 29, 2013, Navarro — then playing for the Cubs — hit three home runs and drive in six in a 9-3 Crosstown victory at Wrigley Field. Both were career highs. 

And Navarro did it without a whole lot of preparation. 

“I got to the ballpark and I didn’t see the lineup, I thought I wasn’t playing,” Navarro recalled. “So we go out for stretch and the first group is hitting and they called my name and I’m like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ And they said ‘You’re playing.’ It was already too late to get into the group so I went inside.”

Navarro only took two rounds of batting practice in his haste to get ready. But he also took those swings thinking right-hander Jake Peavy was going to start for the White Sox, so he hit left-handed during batting practice. 

The White Sox, though, were starting left-hander John Danks, so the switch-hitting Navarro wound up batting right-handed when the game started. 

The pregame mixup hardly hurt Navarro, as it turned out. He homered off Danks in his first and second at-bats, and then launched a three-run homer in the seventh off White Sox right-hander Brian Omogrosso. 

“It was one of the best experiences of my career,” Navarro said.

Navarro is one of a handful of people to play for both the Cubs and White Sox since the two teams began their annual interleague series in 1997 (others include pitchers Jeff Samardzija, Bob Howry, Edwin Jackson and Neal Cotts, among others). His perspective from playing off the Addison and Sox/35th Red Line stops is one he said he’ll cherish after his career is over. 

“I’m really fortunate to be part of it from both sides,” Navarro said. “A little bit bittersweet because the Cubbies had lost 100 games the year before and we were onto our way to lose 100 more games that year (2013). But still the rivalry against this team was something that people always talked about. Being part of it with the Cubs and now being part with the White Sox is a tremendous experience, something I look forward to share with my kids when I get older.”

White Sox happy to retain, and drink beer from, Crosstown Cup

White Sox happy to retain, and drink beer from, Crosstown Cup

The White Sox had a little fun with the Crosstown Cup trophy after securing it for the third consecutive year.

Well, at least one player did for sure: Left fielder Melky Cabrera, according to first baseman Jose Abreu, drank some beer out of the trophy after the White Sox beat the Cubs, 3-0, Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. 

The White Sox retained the Crosstown Cup by virtue of winning the season series in 2014 (three wins, one loss), splitting in 2015 (three wins, three losses), and assuring themselves of at least a split in 2016 (two wins with two games to play). 

This isn’t like a college football rivalry trophy that gets passed between campuses every year. And baseball players generally aren't keen to over-emphasize four or six games over the course of a 162-game season. 

But the Crosstown Cup is still a trophy, and it’s one White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton appreciated receiving again. 

“Any time you win an award — I don’t care if my grandma gives me an award during checkers, I’m excited,” Eaton said. “I don’t really care. But if you play for anything there’s some extra emphasis there. I definitely do think guys take pride in it for sure. But more pride in it that our side of town is happy with us in that sense that we’ve taken the cup back. 

“You don’t want to put too much emphasis on any particular series. But at the same time, if it makes our fans happy that we got the cup back then that’s what we do.”