Cousin connection keys Montini to Championship

325971.jpg

Cousin connection keys Montini to Championship

Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010
7:34 PM

By Mike Clark
YourSeason.com

CHAMPAIGN -- The hits just kept on coming for Montini late in the first quarter Saturday morning.

So too, did the turnovers, and then the touchdowns, as the Broncos built a big lead and cruised home with a 34-21 win over Chatham Glenwood in the Class 5A state championship at Memorial Stadium.

It was the second consecutive state title for the Broncos and the third overall, all in the past seven seasons.

Three times in a span of 82 seconds, Montini forced a Glenwood fumble. The Broncos converted two of them into short touchdown drives to take a 21-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

"The turnovers really got us going," Montini coach Chris Andriano said. "It seemed like every time we hit them hard, boom, it came out."

"Sometimes things just go your way and that's what it felt like all day today," said defensive end Zech Tredenick, who had four sacks among six tackles for loss.

Just as Montini's defense gave Glenwood (10-4) fits early, so too did a Broncos' offense keyed by cousins Matt and Jordan Westerkamp.

Matt, a senior quarterback, put the Broncos (12-2) up 7-0 with a two-yard touchdown run with 3:38 left in the first quarter. He then teamed up with Jordan for a pair of scoring passes after the first and third fumble recoveries by Ross Ferraro and Frank Bruscianelli.

"They seemed to have that family telepathy going," Glenwood coach Dan Rourke said.

After those TD tosses of 13 and 23 yards, it was 21-0 and Glenwood was reeling.

"Fumbles are fumbles," Rourke said. "We hate them, but they're going to occur. ... We haven't been doing that in the playoffs and that's why we're here."

The Titans got on the board with Tony Giovannelli's eight-yard run with 6:34 left till halftime. But the Westerkamps struck again, this time on a 51-yard scoring pass with 3:57 remaining in the second period.

That gave Matt Westerkamp 30 touchdown passes for the season and Jordan 21 TD receptions.

"Last year I was only a sophomore," Jordan Westerkamp said. "My brother Christian and Nick Campanella were the big guys. This year, me and Matt were able to hook up the whole year. I felt like I was more a part of it."

Matt Westerkamp finished 14 of 25 for 199 yards and three scores with one interception. His cousin had seven catches for 146 yards and those three touchdowns.

Glenwood's defense steadied itself after halftime and limited Montini to a pair of field goals by Matt Kersten. But the Broncos' defense made the lead hold up, allowing just one more score till the game's final minute.

"Up front, they're as good as we've seen," Rourke said.

"This is a significant win," Andriano said. "It puts us on the map of special teams and special programs."

Jimmy Butler trade presents more questions for futures of Nikola Mirotic, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo

Jimmy Butler trade presents more questions for futures of Nikola Mirotic, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo

Lauri Markkanenn will be a Chicago Bull once the trade between the Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves is finalized sometime Friday when the trade call is sent to the NBA, as he’s the first domino to fall in what could be an interesting offseason to come.

A stretch-shooting big man from Arizona who shot 42 percent from 3 last season, Markkanenn is a native of Finland who’s more of an offensive threat rather than a defender and rebounder at seven-feet tall. He averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds for Arizona and has been regarded by many scouts as the best shooter in the draft.

With the Bulls bringing up the rear in that category, one assumes he’ll add a level of versatility if he can see the floor—which brings the Bulls to some offseason decisions they’ll have to make once free agency begins and even before. Markkanenn conceivably brings Nikola Mirotic’s future into question, as Mirotic is a restricted free agent this summer and Mirotic was on the trade block by the Bulls for the better part of last season as he had an underwhelming year trying to fill the role of a stretch-shooting big man.

But officials with the Bulls say Mirotic is still a priority for the Bulls and because he’s restricted, they control the process of his free agency. Mirotic shot 41.3 percent and averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds, as the Bulls still consider him an asset for the present and future as they’ll play a new style of basketball next season.

One would think Mirotic will command a salary at least around $10 million as the NBA’s salary cap will balloon to $99 million with a luxury tax line of around $119 million.

Rajon Rondo’s future has yet to be decided, as the Bulls acquired a point guard in Kris Dunn they’ve long eyed and presumably one they feel will be their future at the position.

Bulls officials stated they’ll wait until next week before making a decision on Rondo, but one wonders if they’ll go full youth movement, especially with wanting Dunn to succeed after a rocky rookie year in Minnesota and already having Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne under contract for next season.

Rondo has a $3 million buyout the Bulls can exercise that will make Rondo a free agent or they’ll pay Rondo $13.3 million next season.

[MORE: After trading Jimmy Butler, Bulls select Lauri Markkanen] 

And then there’s Dwyane Wade, who opted in to his deal of $23.8 million for next season. Wade came to Chicago for a number of reasons, notably the salary and chance to play with Butler. With Butler gone and the Bulls changing their direction of the franchise, one wonders how Wade sees himself next season and how the Bulls see Wade with their young players.

Unless Wade wants out, the Bulls are headed into the free agency period thinking he’ll be back next season, and considering the Bulls have to spend up to 90 percent of their salary cap, his money helps them keep their books afloat, even as Butler’s affordable max salary exits and the controlled rookie-scale salaries of LaVine, Dunn and Merkkanenn enter Chicago for a future unknown

Jose Quintana turns in stellar outing as White Sox crush Twins in series finale

Jose Quintana turns in stellar outing as White Sox crush Twins in series finale

MINNEAPOLIS -- Guess who’s back?

Jose Quintana turned in the kind of game on Thursday afternoon that reminds you why he has been one of baseball’s top pitchers the past few seasons. Working with a swing-and-miss curveball and another shocking barrel of run support, Quintana waited out a near five-hour delay to produce a stellar outing. Quintana struck out nine batters in 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the White Sox avoided a sweep with a 9-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins in front of 27,684 at Target Field. Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier and Matt Davidson all homered for the White Sox, who finished with 18 hits and a 3-3 mark on their road trip.

After making several baby steps in his past few starts, Quintana ran wild in the series finale against a Twins team that he has always struggled against. While he worked deliberately, Quintana never got into trouble facing a team against whom he was 6-8 with a 4.28 ERA in his career.

The left-hander used a nasty, biting curveball along with sharp fastball command to keep Minnesota hitters off balance. Quintana struck one batter in each of the first five innings before he picked up steam. He struck out two batters each in the sixth and seventh innings and is averaging a career best 8.97 strikeouts per nine innings this season.

He struck out Miguel Sano three times in three trips and never allowed a man past second base in a 113-pitch effort. Quintana allowed five hits and walked none.

Quintana has a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts as he’s allowed 19 hits and six earned runs in 24 innings. He has walked eight and struck out 24.

[MORE: White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

The White Sox offense made it all much easier for Quintana for a second straight start. Six days after they produced an early four-spot for Quintana against Toronto, the White Sox scored five times and knocked Minnesota starter Nik Turley out in the first inning.

Showing no signs of malaise after a 290-minute rain delay, Abreu and Frazier each blasted two-run homers off Turley to put the White Sox up 4-0. With two outs and Turley gone, Adam Engel singled off reliever Buddy Boshers to make it 5-0 in the first.

The White Sox continued to add on for Quintana as Kevan Smith and Engel each singled in runs in the third to give the 2016 All-Star pitcher a seven-run cushion. Engel finished with four hits and Smith tied a career high with three.

Davidson increased the lead to 8-0 in the fifth inning with a 427-foot blast off Craig Breslow, his 17th homer. Davidson also singled, doubled and walked. The White Sox scored once more in the seventh when Tim Anderson (two hits) doubled in a run off Breslow.

After they produced 22 runs of support for Quintana in his first 13 starts this season, the White Sox have scored 20 in his last two.