Montini takes down Geneva

Montini takes down Geneva

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
12:45 PM

By Patrick Z. McGavin
YourSeason.com

Whitney Holloway looked at the scoreboard to start the fourth quarter and knew something had to give.

"We knew somebody was going to get a run, and we wanted to make sure it was us that got the run and not them," the Montini senior guard said.

Holloway scored 17 points and registered three steals, two assists and two rebounds to lead the No. 3 Broncos past No. 5 Geneva 55-44 in the championship game of the Vikings Thanksgiving tournament Saturday afternoon.

The game was tied at 34 entering the final quarter. Holloway scored five of her total in the fourth quarter. "We picked up our defense a lot and really got after them," said Holloway, named the tournament most valuable player.

The defending Class 3A state champions ended the Vikings 57-game regular season winning streak. "We knew about the streak," Holloway said. "Geneva's a big time program, and it's always nice to be the one that ended a streak like that."

Holloway and senior forward Whitney Adams (16 points, eight rebounds) helped the Broncos break the game open. Junior center Tianna Brown added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Broncos (4-0). Senior guard Kiki Wilson contributed nine points.

Adams scored on two put backs and Brown scored inside off a beautiful Adams assist in the team's game-changing 12-2 run. After hitting two free throws, Adams delivered the dagger with a three-pointer from the right baseline for the 46-36 lead.

"I was open and our coach Jason Nichols says to be aggressive and look to score in that situation," Holloway said.

Geneva star senior guard Kat Yelle led the Vikings (3-1) with 15 points. The Vikings trailed by as many as eight in the first half. Down 28-22 at the break, Geneva scored the first eight points of the third quarter. Geneva seized its only lead on a Sammy Scofield lay up off a Montini turnover.

After the three ties of the third quarter, Montini limited Geneva to just 3-14 from the field in the decisive fourth quarter. Junior Ashley Santos added 10 points for the Vikings.

"I thought our big three big Holloway, Adams, Wilson played very well," Nichols said. And Tianna Brown did a lot of nice things on the inside block.

"Geneva's a very athletic team, with excellent guards and the game was sloppy at times, but when you play good competition this early, it's good to get the victory."

Elena Delle Donne scores 18, leads Sky over Wings

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Elena Delle Donne scores 18, leads Sky over Wings

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Elena Delle Donne had 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Chicago Sky beat the Dallas Wings 92-85 on Sunday.

Courtney Vandersloot added 15 points and nine assists, Cappie Pondexter scored 14 and Erika de Souza had 12 for Chicago, which is sixth in the AP power poll.

The Sky (13-13) had an 18-1 run spanning the first and second quarters to make it 40-16 on de Souza's basket with 6:09 left in the first half.

The 10th-ranked Wings (9-18) cut the deficit to 60-54 in the third quarter but Chicago answered with a 12-3 run. From there, the Wings trailed by double-digits until a late 13-2 run brought them within 90-85 with 15 seconds left.

Odyssey Sims scored 22 points and Skylar Diggins added 16 to lead Dallas, which dropped its eighth in a row.

Cubs close out road trip with narrow loss to Dodgers

Cubs close out road trip with narrow loss to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – Joe Maddon watched John Lackey board the team bus on Sunday morning wearing a Team USA onesie. The Cubs manager later noticed Aroldis Chapman in pajamas in the clubhouse on his way out to the dugout for his pregame media session at Dodger Stadium.

“We’ve created our own little culture, our own little identity,” Maddon said. “I just love the fact that they buy into those moments. Your stars are buying into it.”

The Cubs are in their own world, followed like rock stars on the road, freed from baseball’s unwritten rules and checked out from the daily anxiety and scoreboard-watching stress during a normal pennant race. 

But this afternoon still had a playoff-type atmosphere, with a crowd of 44,745 watching a scoreless game finally pivot in the eighth inning. Cubs reliever Trevor Cahill hit Andrew Toles with a pitch, jammed Howie Kendrick and threw the soft groundball into right field. An intentional walk to Corey Seager loaded the bases, setting up a matchup between Carl Edwards Jr. and the heart of the Los Angeles lineup.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The rookie unleashed a 97-mph fastball and struck out Justin Turner on a foul tip. Edwards then went right back at Adrian Gonzalez, inducing a chopper toward third baseman Javier Baez, who threw the ball to second base. The Cubs missed escaping the jam by a split second, with Seager’s right foot sliding into second just before Ben Zobrist’s left foot touched the bag.

That would be the difference in a 1-0 loss that again showed the narrow margin between these two big-market, first-place teams. The Cubs needed 10 innings to secure a comeback win on Friday night before Los Angeles won one-run games on Saturday and Sunday at Dodger Stadium.  

The Cubs would still leave Los Angeles with a 14-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, their magic number to clinch the division now 20, ending a West Coast trip with a onesies theme almost exactly one year after Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, showing this team would be a force in October.

With John Lackey ramping up for return, could Cubs go to six-man rotation?

With John Lackey ramping up for return, could Cubs go to six-man rotation?

LOS ANGELES – John Lackey is ramping up for a return to the rotation and all those “Big Boy Games” the Cubs are supposed to play in October.

The Cubs expect Lackey to test his strained right shoulder and throw two bullpen sessions this week, manager Joe Maddon said Sunday at Dodger Stadium. If everything goes smoothly for the two-time World Series champion, the Cubs will tentatively schedule Lackey’s next start for either the Labor Day weekend showdown against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field, or near the beginning of a three-city road trip in early September.     

Lackey (9-7, 3.41 ERA) has accounted for 158-plus innings, making 24 starts and stabilizing the rotation before going on the disabled list on Aug. 15. Jason Hammel should eventually cool off and will be “well-rested” after Maddon’s quick hook on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs also like what they’ve seen from Mike Montgomery, believing the lefty can develop into a solid big-league starter.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

Could the Cubs go to a six-man rotation down the stretch?

“We haven’t planned that specifically yet,” Maddon said. “I’m not opposed, let me put it that way. We’ll see how it all plays out with Mikey the next time through. Again, to do anything we possibly can to conserve our arms for the end of the year is important. 

“It’s being proven throughout the industry right now. Moving forward, the biggest trick there is to get the sixth guy that you like. Most teams are clamoring to get (No.) 4 and 5. We got five that we like. Now we’re working on 6.”

It’s not like the Cubs are fighting for a wild-card spot or clinging to a one-game lead in the division. The best record in baseball allows them to look at the big picture and get creative in September. The counterargument to keeping starters fresh for October would be keeping creatures of habit like Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in a rhythm. 

“Starting pitchers have always rallied to say that they need to stay on that particular plan,” Maddon said. “But I think it’s kind of been proven – just give them that extra day or two on occasion and it really benefits them. So I just think you’re fighting this old view of specifically how it needs to be done."