High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview


High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
9:47 PM

By Joe Collins

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is your source for prep basketball highlights in Chicagoland! Were covering all compass points in this Fridays edition of High School Lites, including a key DuPage Valley showdown between 14 Glenbard East and West Aurora.

Well head north to check in with 3 Warren and Stevenston. Our cameras will also travel to the south side for a key Catholic League matchip between Hales Franciscan and Fenwick. Also, Luke Stuckmeyer visits Eisenhower High School to witness a rather unique offense run by head coach Mike Curta including an emphasis on three-pointers and substitutions that are reminiscent of a hockey game.

Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

Hubbard @ (23) Curie, 4:00pm

Is there such a thing as a quiet 17-1 team? If so, the 23rd-ranked Condors might fit the bill. They racked up another win Wednesday night over King, 90-67. Greg Travis had a solid night (16 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five steals). The visiting Greyhounds will face a stiff challenge, but they do have a few threats of their own. Cleo Jones and Javon Fields each scored in double figures in Wednesdays 76-67 win over Chicago Richards.

Palatine @ Vernon Hills, 6:00pm

Palatine hasnt had the best of luck this season (6-10, 2-2 in the Mid-Suburban West) but they did score a nice victory last week over a Conant team that came into the contest 11-3. Senior guard Peter Bony will have the Pirates in the game. The host Cougars will hope to bounce back from an 81-70 loss to North Chicago. Did you know that Vernon Hills standout wide receiver (and Notre Dame recruit) DaVaris Daniels also is one of the stars on the basketball team?

Lincoln-Way West @ (18) Thornton, 6:30pm

Think the Wildcats will be ready to get the bad tastes out of their mouths? They will have waited almost a week to erase the jarring memories from last weeks stunning 55-53 loss to unranked North Lawndale. Brian Greene Jr. will look to help raise Thorntons record to 14-1. The Warriors will be looking for their first win since December 27th (Oak Forest). They might have their work cut out for them Friday night in Harvey.

(5) Homewood-Flossmoor @ Bolingbrook, 7:00pm

The 5th ranked Vikings bounced back nicely after the tough overtime loss against Benet in the Proviso West championship. They defeated Lincoln-Way East last week behind Julian Lewis 18 points. H-Fs Delvon Rencher should also pose problems for Bolingbrook, who will be looking to erase a three-game skid. The Raiders have played tough, losing those three by a combined 13 points, including a 62-61 heartbreaker against Glenbard West. Devon Hodges, Chad Cooke and Nick Malonga are the go-to guys for Brook.

Fenwick @ (11) Hales-Franciscan, 7:30pm

The Friars were the big story in Chicagoland prep basketball last Friday night as they shocked then 3 De La Salle 49-48. Although they suffered a letdown the very next night against Ridgewood (48-42), the win over the Meteors should serve as a warning flare to the 11th ranked Spartans. Aaron and Aaric Armstead lead the way for Hales, who have won two straight after the Rich South McDipper tournament. Fenwick guard Dylan Barnett is back after missing some time in the Proviso West tournament with a high ankle sprain.

(25) Lyons @ Oak Park-River Forest, 7:30pm

Keep an eye on Lyons Township. Their 81-55 victory over Waukegan, a long-time prestigious program, should serve as a wake-up call for the rest of the opponents on the Lions schedule. Senior guard Nick Zeisloft can flat-out shoot. He scored 20 points and went 5-for-7 from behind the arc in that victory over Waukegan. But OPRF will be a tough out. The Huskies came back from a 10-point deficit to shock Proviso West last Friday 75-68. KaDarryl Bell scored 22 in that one and he will be needed to counter the Lions attack on Friday.

(13) Glenbard East @ West Aurora, 7:30pm

Is this the first big test for Glenbard East? The Rams, 5-0 in the DuPage Valley conference, head out to play a West Aurora teamalso 5-0 in the DVC. Illinois State recruit Johnny Hill and Zack Miller, an NIU recruit will be the ones to contain on GBEs roster. The Rams beat Glenbard North and Naperville North last week. The Blackhawks, who blew out West Chicago (67-34) and slipped past Glenbard North last weekend (55-54), boast high-flying junior Juwan Starks. Jontrel Walker and Jayquan Lee are tough to contain as well.

Stevenson @ (3) Warren, 7:30pm

The Blue Devils are a force to be reckoned with in the northern suburbs. They dismantled Lake Zurich and then beat Lake Forest by double figures last weekend. They go for their third in a row with Nathan Boothe, Darius Paul and Brandon Ferguson (just to name a few) starring as key contributors. Fellow North Suburban Lake foe Stevenson will come to Gurnee looking for their fifth straight win. Ryan Chapman and Michael Fleming, Colby Cashaw and Troy Radtke are keys to the Patriot attack.

St. Ignatius @ St. Joseph, 7:30pm

Nnanna Igwu is one of the dominant big men in the state. And the 6-10 senior might have St. Ignatius making some noise in the playoffs in the near future. They have won three straight, including a 58-40 decision over St. Rita last Friday. Igwu led all scorers with 23 points. Its been a tough season for St. Joseph so far, but a recent two game winning streak could have the Chargers headed back towards respectability. Joe Edwards, Reggie Johnson and Cameron Harvey will look to give St. Joes their third straight win Friday in Westchester.

GIRLS: Joliet West @ (1) Bolingbrook, 5:30pm

Will Bolingbrook be looking ahead to their Monday showdown against 3 Montini at Willowbrooks McDonalds Shootout? Well find out that answer Friday night as the Raiders battle a Joliet West team that has won three of their last four, including a 58-38 victory over Joliet Central Wednesday night. Bolingbrook, anchored by Morgan Tuck, Taylor Tuck and Ariel Massengale, is one of the elite high school girls basketball programs in the country. They have won their last four games by an average of 29 points, including a 98-37 triumph over Lockport last week.


(15) Crane 57, Marshall 53

Willie Connor scored 18 points and Kieran Woods tallied 16 more as the 15th ranked Cougars beat the Commandos in another hotly contested game in the storied rivalry. The Cougars 14-0 second quarter run offset 29 turnovers on the night and a 5-14 free throw mark from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Marshalls Keifer Sykes (17 points), Shamon Monck 11 points) and Marlon Sykes (9 points) paced the Commando attack.

(13) Farragut 51, (4) Whitney Young 49

The Admirals get a huge upset win on the road. DJ Tolliver made some key baskets down the stretchpart of his 21 points on the night. Whitney Young had key contributions from Ohio State recruit Sam Thompson. He had 11 points but it was not enough, as Farragut iced the game late with free throws. Farragut got the win without the help of their center, Rashaun Stimage, who has a broken hand. Youngs Luke Hager missed a three pointer from the corner as time expired.

Check us out this Friday night at 10:30. High School Lites streams live at csnchicago.com.

Michael Carter-Williams learns on the fly, thrives in Bulls debut

Michael Carter-Williams learns on the fly, thrives in Bulls debut

Ten days ago Michael Carter-Williams was the starting point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Circumstances can change quickly in the NBA, as the 2013 Rookie of the Year found out when he was traded two weeks ago for the second time in his four-year NBA career. But Carter-Williams also realized just as quickly the value in carving out a role, and he made a great first impression on his coaches and teammates Thursday night in the Bulls’ 105-99 win over the Celtics.

The 6-foot-6 guard played a crucial role in the second half in slowing down a potent Celtics offense, and he provided an offensive jolt midway through the fourth quarter that helped push the Bulls to their first win of the season.

His numbers in 17 minutes won’t jump off the score sheet – he tallied five points, six rebounds and three assists – but his impact on the game was felt on both ends, and in his three stints he cemented himself as a key part of the Bulls’ rotation moving forward.

Carter-Williamas was thrown into unfamiliar territory late in the second quarter. Isaiah Canaan was the first guard off the bench for Fred Hoiberg, but after he missed all three of his 3-point attempts and the Celtics reeled off a 14-4 run to pull within three, 43-40, Hoiberg deployed Carter-Williams alongside starting point guard Rajon Rondo.

In the 10 days since Carter-Williams had joined the Bulls, his time in practice had been spent learning the point guard position. But with Rajon Rondo playing well in the first half, Hoiberg kept his starter in and substituted in Carter-Williams, a natural point guard, into a three-guard lineup with Rondo and Jimmy Butler.

Having Rondo next to him, Carter-Williams said, helped him ease into the Bulls’ offensive sets that wound up making a difference in the fourth quarter.

“He definitely helps me out a lot,” he said of Rondo. “He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever talked to about basketball, he knows everybody’s position, he’s a great point guard and I’m glad I get to learn from someone like him.”

Carter-Williams’ impact was felt immediately. The Celtics missed their next four shots, with their only points coming off free throws after Nikola Mirotic fouled Jae Crowder on a 3-point attempt. The Bulls pushed their second-quarter lead back to nine by the end of the half as Carter-Williams defended both Avery Bradley and Gerald Green.

That same substitution pattern followed late in the third quarter after the Celtics used a 14-5 run to pull within a possession of the Bulls. The Celtics took their first and only lead of the night on an Isaiah Thomas 3-pointer, but with Carter-Williams again playing next to Rondo the Bulls reeled off seven straight points to push the lead back to six, 75-69.

Carter-Williams opened the fourth quarter on the floor without Rondo, though Wade initiated most of the offense. Playing off the ball, Carter-Williams continued to press defensively while waiting for his opportunity to contribute on the other end.

And when he got his chance, he made the most of it. After missing his first four attempts, Carter-Williams was left alone on the left wing for a 3-pointer that he connected on. Butler then stole an Avery Bradley pass in transition and found Carter-Williams, whose floater in the lane pushed the Bulls’ lead back 12, 93-81, with less than 8 minutes to play.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

When Thomas reeled off five quick points to pull the Celtics within five Hoiberg pulled Carter-Williams for Wade, who assisted on two consecutive Taj Gibson baskets before connecting on a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to seal the Bulls’ home opener victory.

It was as successful a debut as a reserve point guard could have, with Carter-Williams logging the only positive rating (+3) among the five players who came off the bench for the Bulls. A 30-point first quarter allowed Hoiberg to play Carter-Williams alongside Rondo in the second and third quarters, and the results were evident, even with Carter-Williams playing a “new” position.

“I think it was tough for me because when I was first in there I was with Rondo, and so when he’s in there he runs the 1 and I play the 2,” he said after the game. “So a lot of times in practice I was learning the 1, and it’s pretty hard to learn everybody’s position in one week. So I was just looking for anybody to tell me where to go, what to do, and just try to make the best of it.”

Despite the unfamiliar spot on the floor, Carter-Williams did make the best of it. In nine minutes alongside Rondo, the Bulls’ defensive rating (points per 100 possessions allowed) was 99.1, an improvement from the 103.6 rating the team logged on the night. Carter-Williams’ individual defensive rating was 95.1, the second best number among guards behind Wade (89.8).

The numbers weren’t as solid on the offensive end, with Rondo and Carter-Williams together managing just 93.5 points per 100 possessions. But the Bulls’ surprisingly hot night from beyond the arc – 11-for-25 – allowed Hoiberg to focus more on the defensive end, where the Bulls wound up holding the Celtics to 99 points a night after they tallied 122 against the Nets.

And Carter-Williams still came up with two key passes late in the third quarter as the Celtics threatened. First he found Mirotic open for an 18-foot jumper on the left baseline. Then he grabbed a missed Wade layup and kicked it back out to Mirotic, who buried a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter to push the Bulls’ lead to six heading into the fourth quarter.

“I love Michael’s game. He had a couple times where he had no idea what he was doing when I called the play, but that’s going to happen. He’s only been around the team a few days. But he played with a lot of poise,” Hoiberg said. “I like how he can get into the paint. He can get downhill. That’s something that every team wants.”

It’s an important year for Carter-Williams. In addition to him learning a new system on the fly, he’s in a contract year and said it’s a personal goal of his to cement himself as the backup behind Rondo.

With Jerian Grant inactive and Canaan sitting the final three quarters, Thursday night may have done just that. And whatever his playing time looks like going forward, or who he’s playing with, Carter-Williams is hoping to make the same impact he did Thursday night.

“I think I can really lead us no matter who’s on the court,” he said. “Whatever Fred thinks is best he’s going to do, and of course it’s a personal goal of mine to just be on the floor as much as I can.

“I was able to find my rhythm a little bit (in the second half) and just try to help the team. Defensively, whether it’s rebounding, getting steals; offensively, scoring or making the right pass or the right play.”

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