Sobolewski leads Benet over H-F for title

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Sobolewski leads Benet over H-F for title

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
8:08 PM

By Patrick Z. McGavin
Yourseason.com

David Sobolewski saw the crease.

I had a ball screen, I waited for the defender to drop down to guard Frank Kaminsky and made my move, the Benet senior guard said.

His layup with just under two minutes was the only basket of overtime as the No. 3 Redwings overcame a nine-point first-half deficit and beat No. 7 Homewood-Flossmoor 54-50 to capture the Proviso West Holiday Tournament championship Thursday night.

It was a war out there, said Sobolewski, the Northwestern-bound guard who scored a game-high 19 points and was named the tournament MVP.

Kaminsky, the 7-foot Wisconsin recruit playing with a nagging ankle injury, made the defensive play of the night.

Kaminsky (12 points, nine rebounds) made the other critical play of the game. With the Vikings down 52-50 after Matt Parisi (nine points) made one of two free throws with less than 15 seconds remaining, Homewood-Flossmoors Tyrone Sherman (11 points, five assists) drove to the basket and appeared to have a clear path to a layup.

Kaminsky rose and made a textbook block. Parisi collected the loose ball and was fouled. His two free throws with 11.2 seconds closed out the scoring.

Behind the early hot hand of David Fatoki (10 points, two three-pointers), the Vikings led by nine on two separate occasions in the second quarter. Receiving key contributions from sophomore Pat McInerney (seven points) and Pat Boyle (seven points), the Redwings opened the third quarter with a 13-5 run to establish their first lead since 6-5.

The two keys of the game were Frank playing, when we didnt even know if he was going to be able to go after he had treatment on his ankle, and the play of Pat Boyle, Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said.

His ball-handling against their pressure and what he did defensively, within the scheme of what we do, individually against a great player like Julian Lewis was tremendous.

H-F star forward Julian Lewis, coming off back-to-back games of 31 and 28 points, was hurt by foul trouble and scored just four points. His only basket, a three-pointer, gave the Vikings a 40-36 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Kaminsky opened the fourth quarter with five straight points, his three-pointer marking the first of four lead changes. Defensively, H-F really hurt us in the first half, Heidkamp said.

Theyre a great team, with five guys on the floor that can score at any time. They hurt on us in the inside and got a lot of easy baskets in the first half. We really had to step it up defensively in the second half.

Antonio Bishop scored 13 points to lead the Vikings. Delvon Rencher added eight points.

Morning Update: Cubs pick up win No. 101, Sale leads White Sox past Rays

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Morning Update: Cubs pick up win No. 101, Sale leads White Sox past Rays

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John Lackey sees Cubs lining up for World Series run: ‘It’s all here’

John Lackey sees Cubs lining up for World Series run: ‘It’s all here’

PITTSBURGH — The Cubs have so much going for them, all this blue-chip talent, a clubhouse mix of young players and grizzled veterans, arguably the best manager in the game, an impactful coaching staff and a front office that blends scouting and analytics as well as anyone.

So, no, John Lackey is not at all surprised by the way this clicked into place, 101 wins and counting for the machine built with October in mind.

“Not really,” Lackey said after Tuesday night’s 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. “I had some pretty good offers from other people, and I chose this one for a reason. It’s all here.”

But to win the World Series — and get the jewelry Lackey talks about — you still need some luck, good health and the guts to perform in those Big Boy Games. That reality of randomness and matchups made a pregame announcement some 250 miles away from PNC Park so telling.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee, ending his MVP-caliber season. The National League East champions will lose a .307 hitter with 22-homer power from the middle of their lineup and a veteran presence for a playoff rotation that will likely be without injured ace Stephen Strasburg (right elbow) in the first round.

“That’s a tough one when you lose your catcher, a guy who’s that significant for the pitching staff,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Think about the pitching staff — it’s so different when you know the guy back there is your guy and he knows what’s going on. The communication’s different. The trust factor, all that stuff is different.”

[SHOP CUBS: Get your NL Central champions gear right here]

Within that big-picture context, the Cubs survived as Lackey limited the checked-out Pirates (77-80) to one run across five innings in his fifth start since recovering from a strained right shoulder and coming off the disabled list. Maddon then used six different relievers — staying away from Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman — during a three-hour, 49-minute game that felt more like the Cactus League.

After defecting from the 100-win St. Louis Cardinals team the Cubs bounced out of last year’s playoffs, Lackey finished the regular season at 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA and 188 1/3 innings.

“I’m going to get to 200,” Lackey said.

Beyond wins and losses, Lackey called this season his career best in terms of “those numbers that they’ve made up in the last few years” like WHIP (1.04) and opponents’ OPS (.646) and whatever. And, no, he doesn’t know his WAR, either: “Not even close.”

Yes, the Cubs got the old-school attitude they wanted when they signed Lackey to a two-year, $32 million deal before the winter meetings. For all the talk about the pitching deficit and the New York Mets after their young guns swept the Cubs out of last year’s NL Championship Series, the Cubs are getting their money’s worth with a guy who will turn 38 in October.

The amazing Mets have lost three of those frontline starters — Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jacob deGrom (nerve damage in his right elbow) and Steven Matz (bone spur in his left elbow) — and are still holding onto the first wild-card spot, which says something about this playoff field.

This doesn’t guarantee anything in October, but the Cubs are just about as close to full strength as they could reasonably hope now. Instead of the silence that would have come with losing an irreplaceable player like Ramos, the sound system in the postgame clubhouse blasted Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Notorious B.I.G. after their 101st win.

“Yeah, we lost Dexter (Fowler) for a bit,” Maddon said. “We lost (Kyle) Schwarber all year. Otherwise, when a couple pitchers got banged up, whether you’re talking about Rondon or Strop, I don’t think that our injuries have been as magnified because we’ve covered them pretty well.

“We still had our moments, like everybody else has. But when you get to right now, we’re getting well, and hopefully that trend continues. But to lose somebody of that magnitude for them, that’s got to be difficult.”