High School Lites Hoops Preview: Week 2

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High School Lites Hoops Preview: Week 2

Whose side are you on? A classic south side-west side matchup will highlight this weeks episode of High School Lites on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Top-ranked Simeon, led by national talent Jabari Parker, takes on Farragut at North Park University. Can the Terrell brothers (Deonte and Alante) guide the Admirals to an upset?

We also spotlight a huge early-season game in the Catholic North as De La Salle travels to St. Joseph. Here is a snapshot of each game Comcast SportsNet will be covering this week on High School Lites. All rankings reflect the CSN Top 20:

THURSDAY GAMES

Uplift (0-6) @ 5 Curie (1-0), 5:30pm

Its a busy week for Curie, who will travel to the Assembly Hall Saturday for the Shootout At The Hall to take on Champaign Centennial. 6-9 sophomore Cliff Alexander and senior guard Devin Foster will get the most looks this season for the Condors. Foster scored 30 points in Curies 81-71 win over Bowman (IN) on Saturday. Uplifts record might stand at 0-6, but their schedule hasnt exactly been light. Theyve faced undefeated Mundelein, DuSable and took 5-2 Barrington to the games final moments.

Glenbrook South (2-5) @ 16 New Trier (6-1), 6:30pm

Dartmouth-bound Connor Boehm, a 6-8 forward, is looking to lead the Trevians far beyond last years pedestrian 15-12 finish. He scored 18 points and grabbed five boards in Tuesday nights 58-47 win over Niles West. New Triers only loss this season has been to 2 Warren. Glenbrook South is coming off a heartbreaking 52-49 loss to Waukegan Tuesday in the final seconds. Jamie Nikitas and Victor Levi will figure to make an impact for the Titans.

FRIDAY GAMES

Addison Trail (4-2) @ 4 Proviso East (5-0), 6:00pm

The fourth-ranked Pirates are not a one-man show. Their roster, with St. Louis recruit Keith Carter, Sterling Brown (Shannon Brown's brother), Trashaun Carroll and Paris Lee, could make a deep playoff run in March. They are coming off a 79-50 win over Raby on Saturday. The Blazers are also riding high off a 51-46 victory over Evergreen Park Monday night. Vince Beltrano tallied 15 points and Gunther Sauck added 14 more. Will they have the depth to match up with East?

Rich East (2-3) @ 11 Crete-Monee (3-1), 6:30pm

C-M features a couple of familiar names...for different reasons. Former Hillcrest coach Tom Cappel is now patrolling the sidelines for the Warriors. And LaQuon Treadwell, who was a force at wide receiver for the football team, is also one of the go-to guys on the court. The Warriors feature standout guards in Michael Orris and Marvie Keith. Rich East will contend this year, thanks to guard Raheem Jackson. Coach George Leonard should also get contributions from Anthony Perkins and Ron Lawton.

Stagg (5-1) @ 17 Andrew (4-0), 7:00pm

It's the home opener for the Thunderbolts, CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week. Their road resume has looked pretty good to this point. They have already defeated the aforementioned Crete-Monee Warriors and also went into Harvey to take down Thornton. Brothers Jawad and Jubril Adekoya lead the attack. Stagg figures to be another tough challenge, though. 6-6 junior Sean Dwyer is one of the more versatile players in the area. His height speaks for itself, but he can also hit threes.

10 De La Salle (5-1) @ 12 St. Joseph (3-2), 7:30pm

The 10th-ranked Meteors bounced back in a huge way Tuesday night, defeating 13 Farragut 62-50 after Friday's heartbreaking loss to St. Rita. Alvin Ellis, Gavin Schilling and Alex Foster all scored in double figures. However, De La Salle can't ease off the gas, as a formidable Catholic North opponent awaits. Gene Pingatore's crew has some height to match up against a tall Meteor squad, namely in 6-8 junior A.J. Patty. Look for Reggie Johnson to contribute for the Chargers as well.
1 Simeon (2-0) vs. 13 Farragut (2-2), 7:30pm at North Park University

The good news for Farragut? They should be battle-tested. And angry. Rashaun Stimage scored 19 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday night against 10th-ranked De La Salle, but it was not enough, as Farragut lost by 12. A much tougher test, though, awaits as the top-ranked Wolverines are lurking. Simeon has the deepest roster in the state, with forwards Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor and guard Kendrick Nunn running the show. They are 2-0 after a 73-53 win over Notre Dame on Sunday.

6 Downers Grove South (5-1) @ 20 Morton (4-0), 7:30pm

Jerron Wilbut, Downers Grove Souths dynamic guard, did not play in the teams last game against Oak Park-River Forest. Head coach Jay Baum said he will play this Friday against a Morton team who has posted quality wins against Centennial, Fenwick, Lyons and Willowbrook. Senior center Rocco Belcaster is their go-to guy. Downers Grove South and Morton will need to keep pace with Proviso East in the West Suburban Gold conference race.
Girls: Niles West (10-0) @ Maine South (9-1), 7:30pm

The visiting Wolves are coming off a huge win check that, routof a talented New Trier team. Notre Dame-bound Jewell Lloyd is the key to Wests attack. She scored 25 points and pulled in 15 rebounds in the 45-23 victory. Maine South did one better than Niles West Tuesday nightliterally. They scored a 46-23 victory over Evanston. Michelle Maher had 11 points.

Girls: Proviso East (7-1) @ Whitney Young (4-0), 8:00pm

It should be a good battle between two teams who have potential to go deep into the state playoffs. Youngs Janee Thompson has quite a story. The Kentucky-bound point guard spent most of the 2010-11 season on the sidelines with a torn ACL. She will be relied on quite a bit this season, but Virginia Tech-bound guard Alexis Lloyd and junior guard Linnae Harper are certain to help out as well. Proviso East, coming off a 65-40 win over Willowbrook, has scorers in Jakeisha Wells, Kalea Parks and Jalairia Wells.

Every Friday night at 10:30, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from the Chicagoland basketball courts. We'll also have in-depth feature stories and take a look back down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment.

This week, be sure to check out CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week, the Andrew High School Thunderbolts. As mentioned above, an underrated duo is helping transform this Tinley Park school into a consistent basketball power. Could a deep playoff run be in the mix for the Bolts?

High School Lites streams live every Friday at 10:30pm on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well by leaving comments below the story.

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Why Brett Anderson called Cubs fans ‘f------ idiots’ and loves the idea of pitching at Wrigley Field

Why Brett Anderson called Cubs fans ‘f------ idiots’ and loves the idea of pitching at Wrigley Field

MESA, Ariz. – On an October night where you could literally feel Wrigley Field shaking, Brett Anderson fired off a message on his personal Twitter account: "Real classy cubs fans throwing beer in the Dodgers family section. Stay classy f------ idiots."
 
The Cubs had just clinched their first National League pennant since the year World War II ended, beating Clayton Kershaw and playing as close to a perfect game as they had all season. Anderson kept up the entertaining commentary during the World Series, previewing Game 7 – "We can all agree that we're happy it's not Joe West behind the plate tomorrow" – and tweaking his future manager: "Aroldis (Chapman) might puke on the mound from exhaustion." 
 
In another generation, a veteran pitcher might walk into a new clubhouse and wonder about any awkwardness with a hitter he once drilled with a fastball or some bad blood from a bench-clearing brawl. But overall today's players share the same agents, work out together in the same warm-weather offseason spots and understand the transient nature of this business. When pregame batting practice is filled with fist bumps, bro hugs and small talk between opponents, it becomes trying to remember what you said on social media. 
 
"I'm kind of a sarcastic ass on Twitter," Anderson said Monday. "I kind of sit back and observe. I'm not a huge talker in person. But I can kind of show some of my personality and candor on some of those things.
 
"You look at stuff (when) you get to a new team. I'm like: ‘Wow, man, did I say anything about anybody that's going to piss them off?' But I think the only thing I said about the players is that Kyle (Hendricks) looks like he could have some Oreos and milk after pitching in the World Series. 
 
"But that's kind of the guy he is. Just the calmness that he shows is something that we can all try to strive for."
 
Anderson essentially broke the news of his signing – or at least tipped off the media to look for confirmations – with a "Wheels up to Chicago" tweet in late January. The Cubs guaranteed $3.5 million for the chance to compete against Mike Montgomery and see which lefty can grab the fifth-starter job. Anderson could max out with $6.5 million more in incentives if he makes 29 starts this season. 
 
After undergoing surgery to repair a bulging disc in his lower back last March, Anderson made three starts and didn't earn a spot on the NLCS roster.  
 
"I obviously wasn't in the stands," Anderson said. "Supposedly from what I was told – it could be a different story – but there was just some beers thrown on where the families were. I'm going to stick to my family and my side.  
 
"I wasn't calling out the whole stadium. (It wasn't): ‘Screw you, Cubs fans.' It was just the specific (incident) – whoever threw the beers on the family section. Everybody has their fans that are kind of rowdy and unruly.

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"That just happened to be a situation. But you like those people on your side. I played in Oakland, and they had some of the rowdiest fans. In the playoffs, it seemed like ‘The Black Hole' for the Raiders games.
 
"You have your bad seeds in every fan base. When people are rowdy and cheering on their team and have one too many beers, the next thing you know, you're throwing them.
 
"Just visiting (Wrigley), it's a fun crowd, because it's such an intimate setting and you feel like they're right on top of you and it's so loud." 
 
Imagine the matchup nightmare the Dodgers could've been if their pitching staff hadn't been so top-heavy and manager Dave Roberts could've confidently gone to someone other than Kershaw, Rich Hill or closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers had made Anderson the qualifying offer after a solid 2015 season – 10-9, 3.69 ERA, 180-plus innings, a 66.7 groundball percentage – and he grabbed the $15.8 million guarantee. 
 
Anderson turned around and did the knock-on-wood motion at his locker, saying he felt good after completing a bullpen session with catcher Willson Contreras at the Sloan Park complex. Anderson is a Tommy John survivor who's also gone on the disabled list for a stress fracture in his right foot, a broken left index finger and a separate surgery on his lower back.
 
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Anderson said. "When I'm healthy and able to go out there and do my work, I feel like I'm a pretty good pitcher. I don't think I've ever been able to put everything as a whole together in one season. I've had some good spots – and some good seasons here and there – but hopefully I can put it all together and have a healthy season and do my part."
 
The Cubs are such a draw that Shane Victorino signed a minor-league deal here last year – even with more than $65 million in career earnings and even after a fan dumped a beer on him while he tried to catch a flyball at Wrigley Field in 2009.   
 
Anderson wanted to play for a winner and understood the organization's pitching infrastructure. He saw his pitching style as a match for the unit that led the majors in defensive efficiency last year. He was even intrigued by Camp Maddon and the wacky stunts in Mesa.  
 
"It's obviously an uber-talented group," Anderson said. "(It's also) seeing the fun that they're having. I'm more on the calm and cerebral side, but I think doing some of the things that these guys have in store for me will hopefully open me up a little bit and break me out of my shell. 
 
"'Uncomfortable' is a good word, especially for me. You don't want to get complacent. You don't want to get used to rehab. You want to go out there and do new things and try new things and meet new people and have new experiences. All things considered, the Cubs offered the best mix of everything."