High School Lites: Weekend Hoops Preview

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High School Lites: Weekend Hoops Preview

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
8:14 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

The best Chicagoland prep basketball action can be seen right here on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com. This week's edition of High School Lites features many ranked teams in YourSeason.com's Super 25, including a tilt between 3 Benet and 14 Notre Dame. We head out to Woodstock for our Team of the Week: Marian Central Catholic. You might see a familiar face on their bench-- former DePaul player Curtis Price, who is now their head coach. We'll also bring you the story of a standout girls basketball player who is living a 'fantasy' life for the Wheaton North Falcons. Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

York @ (13) Proviso West, 6:00pm

It could be a key early-season West Suburban Silver contest Friday in Hillside. The Dukes are off to another good start at 4-1. Senior guard Will Sullivan scored 23 points in their latest victory-- a 64-54 decision over Hinsdale Central. As for the Panthers, it'll be the first of a back-to-back with mighty East Aurora and Ryan Boatright lurking on Saturday. P-W, behind senior Ryan Woods, dominated Glenbard West last Friday 69-54.

(11) Thornton @ Andrew, 6:30pm

Four starters are back for the Thornton Wildcats this season, including guard Brian Greene. He teamed up with Bernard Brame and Dimitrius Hardwick in a convincing 68-47 win over Von Steuben at Sunday's Public League Shootout. Andrew is the proverbial team that nobody wants to play-- especially in Tinley Park. This vastly-improved team includes the Adekoya brothers: Jabbar, Jawad and Jubril, who can cause fits for the opposition.

Romeoville @ (20) Plainfield North, 7:00pm

The Southwest Prairie conference is there for the taking this season-- and both the Spartans and the 20th ranked Tigers figure to do some damage. Romeoville's defense was tough on the road last Friday, holding Minooka to 30 points. P-N's Jack Krieger is one of the top guards in the conference. Last season, he made 67 or 125 shots from 3-point range (53.6). He scored 39 points against Plainfield South earlier this season.

Ridgewood @ Fenton, 7:00

It's a family affair at west-suburban Ridgewood High School. New head coach Chris Mroz, the oldest of four boys, looks for his kid brother (Petey) to be a big contributor on the team. Guard John Caravia is another player to keep an eye on for the Rebels. The host Bison are paced by senior forward Dan Montano. Both teams figure to chase Riverside-Brookfield in the Metro Suburban this year...winners of nine straight conference titles.

(9) Proviso East @ Addison Trail, 7:30pm

The 9th-ranked Pirates have had plenty of time to think about the 85-63 dismantling by Hales in the St. Charles East Thanksgiving tournament. Now it's time to refocus, as the West Suburban Gold conference schedule awaits. The Pirates figure to be a force in conference, with guard Keith Carter setting the pace. Addison Trail is looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking 64-61 overtime loss against Stagg.

Metea Valley @ (15) East Aurora, 7:30pm

This is the first year of varsity-level competition for the Metea Valley Mustangs. Last year, the JV squad was an impressive 23-2. Will it translate to wins on the varsity level? Their competition won't get much tougher than East Aurora. The Tomcats, led by Connecticut-bound superstar guard Ryan Boatright, look to set the tone in the Upstate Valley Eight conference.
Mt. Carmel @ Seton, 7:30pm

Illinois recruit Tracy Abrams took care of business in the Caravan's 88-56 victory over St. Francis de Sales last week-- the opener for their Catholic League East schedule. Abrams and fellow senior guard Malcolm Hill-Bey will face a challenge this Friday at Seton. The Sting feature a stellar player in Rodney Marshall. Both teams figure to challenge Leo for conference supremacy.

St. Francis de Sales @ (21) Leo, 7:30pm

The other side of the Catholic League East conference features the aforementioned Leo Lions, who just got by Seton earlier this season, 65-62. Leo returns nearly all of the players from last year's 25-9 team, and it includes Paul Beene Jr. and Maurice Joyner. A huge showdown with Mt. Carmel lies ahead on December 17th, but Leo cannot afford to overlook the Pioneers.

(14) Notre Dame @ (3) Benet, 7:30pm

The top matchup in Chicagoland Friday night. The visiting Dons are cruising. They have a 7-0 record which is head coach Tom Les best start ever. Rodney Prior has been on autopilot so far this season. He is coming off a 22 point performance against Loyola and has a 34 point game to his credit this year as well. Their defense has been tough, but will it be enough to stop Benet's Big 10 tandem of Dave Sobolewski (Northwestern) and 6-10 center Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)? It'll be quite a battle in the western suburbs Friday night.

GBB: North Lawndale @ (2) Whitney Young, 5:30pm

The Dolphins of Whitney Young try to continue their dominance of the girls basketball landscape in Chicagoland. And for once, they'll actually have a game in Chicago. Young has already played schools in the Memphis area, and they will travel to Detroit over the holidays and then take on competition from Wisconsin and St. Louis once the new year starts. They boast four college prospects: Chanise Trix Jenkins (DePaul), Kiana Johnson (Michigan State), Dija Disu (Texas Southern) and Bryesha Blair (Central Florida).

Check us out this Friday night just after our coverage of the Bulls-Lakers game. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.

Dustin Johnson, Kevin Chappell tied for lead at Tour Championship

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Dustin Johnson, Kevin Chappell tied for lead at Tour Championship

ATLANTA (AP) — Dustin Johnson had a reasonable lie in the rough and only a few pine tree branches blocking his path to the 17th green. Neither seemed like a problem until he played the wrong shot, clipped the tree and wound up with a double bogey Saturday in the Tour Championship.

It was an example of how one hole can change everything at East Lake.

And it's why the final round of the PGA Tour season suddenly has more scenarios than Johnson cares to consider.

Johnson recovered with a birdie from the bunker on the par-5 18th for a 1-under 69, giving him a share of the lead with Kevin Chappell (68) going into the last round that will determine who wins the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.

For the first time since 2009, there's a chance it might not be the same player.

"There's a lot of scenarios that could happen," Johnson said. "But yeah, I'm still going to go out and try to shoot as low a score as possible."

Johnson only has to win or finish second alone to claim the $10 million bonus as the FedEx Cup champion.

Rory McIlroy, who has gone 28 holes without a bogey at East Lake, had three birdies over his last six holes for a 66 and was two shots behind. If he were to win the Tour Championship and Johnson finished in a two-way tie for second or worse, McIlroy would claim the FedEx Cup.

"It would just be great to try to win the Tour Championship, and if the chips fall my way, then so be it," McIlroy said.

The winner of the Tour Championship has won the FedEx Cup every year since 2009, when Phil Mickelson won the tournament and Tiger Woods won the FedEx Cup.

Johnson led by as many as four shots when he ran off three straight birdies on the front nine, and he really didn't do much wrong to give up the size of that lead. He had a three-putt from 70 feet on No. 13, and missed the fairway by a few feet on the next hole, enough that his ball was buried so deep that even Johnson and his power couldn't advance more than about 135 yards.

It was the 17th hole that reshaped the tournament.

Johnson tried to played a fade from a flyer lie in the rough, and the ball came out high and hit a branch, leaving him in more rough about 60 yards short of the green. He put that in the bunker, blasted out to 6 feet and missed the putt to make double bogey.

Chappell rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt for a three-shot swing on the hole and suddenly had the lead, only for Johnson to catch him with the final birdie.

They were at 8-under 202.

Chappell, a runner-up three times this season who has never won on the PGA Tour, has made only one bogey in 54 holes this week, a show of consistency, discipline and a few good breaks when he does miss the fairway.

His next chance at a breakthrough victory is to face golf's best player at the moment (Johnson), with McIlroy and Ryan Moore (66) two shots behind.

"I've always kind of been the underdog, so it's a role I'm comfortable in," Chappell said.

Moore went out in 31 until he was slowed by a pair of bogeys, though very much in the mix just two shots out of the lead. The mystery is whether anything he does on Sunday - even if that means a victory - is enough for Davis Love III to use his last captain's pick on Moore for the Ryder Cup.

"I came here this week to win a golf tournament, and I'm 100 percent focused on that," Moore said, adding that the Ryder Cup is "completely out of my control."

And that's how the last day is shaping up for everyone - post a score and see where it leads.

Johnson, for a moment, looked as though he might take all the drama out of the season-ender when he made a 15-foot par putt early in his round and then ran off three straight birdies on the front nine to go four shots clear.

The putter cooled off, however, and Chappell stayed in range.

Chappell chipped in on No. 12 to match birdies and stay three shots behind, and then he quickly closed the gap when Johnson made back-to-back bogeys, only to respond with a 4-iron over the water to a peninsula green on the par-3 15th to 15 feet for birdie.

The 17th hole changed everything.

"I thought about just trying to hit it in the front bunker, which I probably should have done - probably would have made 4 if I'd have done that," Johnson said. "But it is what it is. I came back and birdied the last hole, tied for the lead going into tomorrow. I like my position."

And he doesn't need a degree in math to figure out the easiest scenario - just win.

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