Seton beats Brother Rice in conference play


Seton beats Brother Rice in conference play

By Tony Baranek

Mark Weems Jr. was uncharacteristically quiet during the first three quarters of Setons 61-48 Catholic League South victory over host Brother Rice.The Stings leading scorer had as many fouls as points two.Things would change.Hes a closer, Seton coach Brandon Thomas said. That guy scores in a lot of different ways. He can shoot the three, he can get to the cup and he can make free throws.Weems did it all, except for hitting a three, anyway, finishing with 16 fourth-quarter points as the Sting (16-3, 7-0) thwarted a stunning comeback by the Crusaders. J.R. Tolliver added another 18 markers for the winners.Brother Rice (11-8, 5-2) was paced by Alex Majewski (18 points) and Ray Rubio (eight).What looked like a cruise for Seton turned into a wild ride before all was said and done.Brother Rice, which went into the night having made at least one three-pointer in 259 straight games, went 0-for-5 in the first half.Seton, meanwhile, dominated in most phases, including the ridiculous.With 0.4 left in the half, Damian Evans stood at the top of the three-point circle as Kamal Shasi tossed the inbounds pass. In one motion, Evans leaped, caressed the ball every so briefly, then launched what would be a swish.Up 29-18 at halftime, Seton would go on to build a 38-21 advantage early in the third. Then, Brother Rice finally exploded.A layup by Garrett ONeill got it started. Rubio hit a three, the Crusaders first, with 3:30 showing. After Jim Barista connected from beyond the arc with 43.9 seconds left in the period, it was a 40-40 proposition.Our defense wasnt there anymore, Thomas said. And we shot a lot of jump shots in that quarter. Tolliver, we were having success going to him, and all of a sudden we didnt want to go to him anymore.They never did go to Tolliver again, but it didnt matter. Trailing 42-40 at the start of the fourth period, it became the Weems show.The 6-foot-2 junior brought the Sting back into a tie with a short jumper from the side, and followed it with a running bank-in. Shortly after, he drove for a three-point play.Tolliver was 4-of-4 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line in the final eight minutes.

Fire’s younger players a mixed bag in 2016


Fire’s younger players a mixed bag in 2016

When Joey Calistri subbed on for Arturo Alvarez in the 81st minute of the Chicago Fire's 3-2 loss at Toronto on Sunday it was the first time the rookie homegrown player had seen the field in over a month.

The nine-minute appearance was also more time than he'd seen in a league game in July, August, September and October combined. Calistri played 10 of the Fire's first 13 league matches totaling 333 minutes. In the final 21 matches of the year he made four appearances totaling 15 minutes.

Because Calistri's substitution was the third and final sub for the Fire, it also signified that fellow homegrown players Patrick Doody and Drew Conner would not play in 2016. Both made the list of available substitutes in Toronto, but did not get the call to sub into the match.

This offseason the Fire got younger with first-round draft picks Brandon Vincent (22 years old) and Jonathan Campbell (23), second-rounder Alex Morrell (22), homegrowns Calistri and Conner (both 22) and international players Rodrigo Ramos (21), Khaly Thiam (22) and David Arshakyan (22) joining the team. Some of the players like Vincent and Campbell were major contributors in 2016 and could be a significant part of the team in the future. Meanwhile, the Fire's four homegrown players, 19-year-old second-year pro Collin Fernandez in addition to Calistri, Conner and Doody, combined for two starts. Fernandez made two substitute appearances for a total of eight minutes.

Campbell played in 33 of the Fire’s 34 matches, starting 30 of them at center back, and was in the early running for Rookie of the Year before Jordan Morris, Keegan Rosenberry and Jack Harrison solidfied themselves as the top three in that race. Vincent finished with 24 starts and 26 appearances at left back and was named to the MLS All-Star team. Those two, along with Johan Kappelhof, could potentially form the core of the team’s defense next year.

Another young defender, Ramos, showed flashes of being a dangerous attacking right back and made 16 starts. However, the Brazilian seemed to fall out of favor with Paunovic in the final two months of the season and the Fire will have to pick up the option on his loan to make him a permanent member of the team.

A pair of younger international players, Arshakyan and Thiam, saw semi-regular playing time down the stretch after joining during the season, but neither made a big impression. Thiam, like Ramos, joined on loan so his future remains up in the air. Arshakyan joined the team in August and both Arshakyan and Paunovic have said he is still settling in.

General manager Nelson Rodriguez has talked about trying to form a core of players to build around for years to come. Campbell and Vincent showed the potential to be valuable parts of such a core, but for many of the Fire's younger players, 2016 was a season of missed, or a lack of, opportunities.

Indians announce starting rotation for World Series vs. Cubs

Indians announce starting rotation for World Series vs. Cubs

The Cleveland Indians announced their starting pitchers for the first three games of the World Series against the Cubs.

To no one's surprise, Corey Kluber will get the start for Game 1 on Tuesday. Kluber has been the team's best starter all season. In three starts this postseason, he is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA and 20 strikeouts.

Trevor Bauer and Josh Timlin will get the nod for Games 2 and 3. Bauer has only made two starts this October, but his last one in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jayes was cut short after 21 pitches due to a finger injury.

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After those three, the order has yet to be determined.

Indians manager Terry Francona did say to Zack Meisel of that Kluber "could be an option" to start Game 4 on three days rest, which he did in the ALCS.