Chargers down Farragut in OT


Chargers down Farragut in OT

By Ken Ryan

When St. Joseph dropped a number of close games earlier this season, senior Reggie Johnson didnt panic.I never doubted (our potential), Johnson said. You could see we had a lot of talent and it was just a matter of time before we came together. Early on we were just hitting walls, but were jelling at the right time.St. Joseph certainly looked good Friday, beating Farragut 58-50 in overtime to capture the Class 3A Nazareth Regional championship.The Chargers (20-8) are seeded No. 6 in the Glenbard South Sectional and will now take on No. 2 Marshall, which beat Westinghouse 77-60 Friday, in the sectional semifinal Wednesday.To get a regional championship is great, said Johnson, who had 13 points, six steals and five rebounds. We knew (Farragut) was ranked over us in the sectional so this was a big game. When it got to clutch time, we let our emotions calm down and were able to pull out the win.St. Joseph scored the first four points of overtime and led the rest of the way.Farragut (14-9) pulled within 49-47, but the Chargers closed the game on a 9-3 run to clinch the title.I said by the end of the year we were going to be competitive and we could make a run, St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore said. Were not as good as I thought, but I knew we had the potential if we worked at it to get better by the end of the year. It hasnt come easy, so its rewarding.Both teams had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation.St. Joseph had the ball with 1:10 remaining and tried to hold on for one shot, but turned the ball over with 18.7 seconds left. After a Farragut timeout, Farragut senior Rashaun Stimage drove to the basket, but missed a layup sending the game to overtime.Stimage battled foul trouble the entire contest, but still finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.It was a team effort, Johnson said. Rashaun still got his points, but we wore him down and he wasnt able to finish the game. He had a layup (in the closing seconds of regulation) he normally would make (to win the game), but since he was tired and worn down, it made a difference.St. Joseph used a balanced attack with Avery Harmon contributing 14 points and four steals, Karriem Simmons getting 10 points and eight rebounds, Paul Turner contributing nine points, three rebounds and three steals and A.J. Patty finishing with eight points and eight rebounds.It was so loud in the locker room I couldnt even hear my coach talking (after the game), Harmon said. It was tough, but we pulled it out. We always get better as the season goes on. Right now, I think this game just shows how good we are and where we can go with this team. As long as we keep listening to coach and playing our game we can beat anybody.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks win in Minnesota

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks win in Minnesota

Here are some of Tuesday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Wednesday on CSN: Illinois State and Loyola host in Valley doubleheader

Jonathan Toews has five-point night, including a hat trick, in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Report: Bears seeking trade partners for Jay Cutler

Bulls Talk Podcast: What is the Bulls' approach at the trade deadline?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

Northwestern's offense nowhere to be found as Illini complete sweep of season series

Quick Hits: Blackhawks respond the right way in win over Wild

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

Why Sammy Sosa compared himself to Jesus Christ in candid interview

Why Joe Maddon won’t tone down the stunts at Cubs camp

Why Joe Maddon won’t tone down the stunts at Cubs camp

MESA, Ariz. – Joe Maddon teased reporters when pitchers and catchers reported to Arizona one week ago, promising the Cubs wouldn't tone down the gimmicks now that they're World Series champions: "We already have something planned for the first day that you might not want to miss."

A weekend of rain in Mesa postposed the first full-scale full-squad workout until Monday, and the wet grass meant the big reveal had to wait until Tuesday morning, when gonzo strength and conditioning coordinator Tim Buss drove a white Ferrari onto the field for the team's stretching session.

The bearded man they call "Bussy" rocked sunglasses, a gold chain around his neck, brown dress shoes and the same navy blue windowpane suit he wore to the White House. The overarching message as Buss blew kisses and Cypress Hill's "(Rock) Superstar" and Jay Z's "Big Pimpin'" blasted from the sound system: Humility.

"I hope everyone gets the sarcasm involved," Maddon said.

So, uh, no, the Cubs aren't going to dial it back or turn the zoo animals away or worry about the target they proudly wore on their chest last year.

"I don't know if the mime's coming back or not," Maddon said during the welcome-to-camp press conference. "Could you do a mime two years in a row? I don't know if that's permissible under MLB rules somewhere. I don't think you can bring a mime back two years in a row.

"Magicians are OK. You can anticipate a lot of the same, absolutely."

Before rolling your eyes at a star manager who loves the spotlight, it's important to note that the stunts are largely Buss productions.

"A lot of times, I'm not even aware," Maddon said. "He just knows he's got my blessings. He knows he does not have to clear it with me, unless it's absolutely insane. It works pretty well this way."

While every Maddon dress-up theme trip doesn't get universal love in the clubhouse, Buss has a unique way of getting millionaires to pay attention, almost tricking them into doing work.

"He's got several well-endowed players on the team that support his histrionics," Maddon said.

[MORE CUBS: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field]

Since taking over this job in 2001, Buss has survived multiple ownership structures (Tribune Co., Sam Zell, Ricketts family) and the Andy MacPhail/Jim Hendry/Theo Epstein transitions in the front office, working for managers Don Baylor, Rene Lachemann (interim), Bruce Kimm (interim), Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella, Mike Quade, Dale Sveum and Rick Renteria.

"He must have some good photographs, right?" Maddon said. "He's a different cat. He's a weapon."

Buss can clearly get along with almost any kind of personality. But it took Maddon – and the explosion of social media – to give him this kind of platform.

"No, nothing's changed, man," Maddon said. "It's all the same in regards to 'the same,' meaning the methods, the process. I just got aired out by one of our geek guys for not using the word ‘process.’ It’s true. Last year, I used the word ‘process’ often. I’m going to continue to use it a lot again this year.

"Why were we able to withstand the word 'pressure' and 'expectations' as well as we did last year? Because we weren't outcome-oriented. We were more oriented towards the process. Anybody in your job and your business – if you want to be outcome-oriented – you're going to find yourself in a lot of trouble just focusing on that word.

"It's all about the process. Our process shall remain the same, absolutely it shall. Hopefully, we're going to add or augment it in some ways that can be even more interesting and entertaining."

The irony is that the Cubs have repeatedly used outcome-based thinking in defending Maddon's decisions during the World Series. But the manager obviously deserves so much credit for creating an environment where this team could play loose and relaxed and not collapse under the weight of franchise history.

"Our guys are pretty much in charge of the whole thing," Maddon said. "I love the empowerment of the players. I love that they feel the freedom to be themselves. If they didn't, maybe Jason (Heyward) would not have gotten the guys together in a weight room in Cleveland after a bad moment.

"All those things matter. And you can't understand exactly which is more important than the other. So you just continue to attempt to do a lot of the same things. Process is important, man, and we're going to continue along that path."