High School Lites: Lenti looks to make history

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High School Lites: Lenti looks to make history

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 1:29 p.m.

By Chris Boden & Scott Krinch
CSNChicago.com

Week four of High School Lites is coming up on Friday and Comcast SportsNetCSNChicago.com is the place to go for preps coverage in the Chicagoland area. We'll be bringing you highlights of over 15 games across the area and this week's marquee matchup is a showdown of unbeatens in the Southwest Suburban - Blue Conference: No. 6 Homewood Flossmoor hosts No. 4 Lincoln-Way East. Which team will come away still holding a big zero in the loss column? Tune in to find out. We'll also have highlights of Matt Alviti and the No. 1 Maine South Hawks taking on Niles North. After a 42-0 thrashing of Fenwick, No. 11 St. Rita will go to a hostile environment to take on their Catholic League rival, Brother Rice.

Here's a quick glimpse of each game we'll cover during Friday night's show at 10:30 p.m.:

Robeson (3-0) vs. Bogan (0-3), 3:30 @ Stagg

Chris Boden: The records aren't deceiving in this Prairie State division opener. The Bengals have managed just six points in each of their three losses, though things did get a little better against Lane last week, when they allowed just 28 points after giving up 54 and 51 to open the season against Tinley Park and Edwardsville, respectively. The Raiders are rolling behind RB Devon Sanders, who was Tom Lemming's MVP at a summer camp exclusively for juniors. He carried 58 times for 460 yards and 9 touchdowns in lopsided wins over Julian and Harlan before last week's 28-14 victory at Rich Central.

Young (2-1) vs. Simeon (1-2), 3:30 @ Gately

Scott Krinch: Getting their leader back was all Simeon needed. Quarterback Robert Gregory returned to lead the Wolverines to a 47-7 rout of Morgan Park last week. Before taking his talents to the University of Arkansas and the SEC, Gregory is hoping to lead Simeon to their first state title in school history. Well see if Young can contain Gregory in this Chicago Public League showdown.

Evergreen Park (2-1) @ Tinley Park (3-0), 7:00

CB: So, Mustangs, how good is your defense? The Titans were down 20-7 last week at home to T.F. North, then the Kyle Sheridan-led offense rolled up 49 second half points en route to a 56-52 thrill ride, won on a short touchdown run in the final minute by Preston Thompson. The game turned midway through the third quarter when TP returned kickoff & punt returns within about a minute of each other. That gives them 150 points in their three games. EP put up big numbers itself against Phillips and Payton to start its season, but dropped their South Suburban Red opener to Eisenhower last week, 28-9.

11 St. Rita (2-1) @ Brother Rice (3-0), 7:30

SK: Could this game be an upset in the making? The Crusaders have a powerful 1-2 running back punch of Martez Walker and Andrew Walker and the duo have combined for 14 touchdowns already this season. Will the Mustangs defense, coming off two straight shutouts be able to extinguish the Crusaders running game? Anything can happen in the Catholic League - Blue conference.

Bremen (3-0, 1-0) @ Oak Forest (3-0, 1-0), 7:00

CB: The south suburbs are the place to be this Friday, can't go wrong if you're able to pick-and-choose. Don't let the Braves and Bengals fly under your radar in the rugged, deep South Suburban Blue. The visitors snuck past Hillcrest 14-12 last week, while the hosts have been putting up 40 points per game. Their 33-21 win over T.F. South was their lowest offensive output. Each side has running backs with multiple D-1 offers, Big 10 included: Bremen's David Smith and Oak Forest's Tevin Coleman. Iowa, among others, is interested in both.

4 Lincoln-Way East (3-0, 1-0) @ 6 Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0, 1-0), 7:30

SK: If you're looking for offense this is the game to watch. The Griffins are averaging 44 PPG this season but not to be outdone, the Vikings are averaging 55. Wide receiver J.J. Robertson, an Illini commit, highlights the list of explosive players for Lincoln-Way East. While, HF's Tim Williams is one of the top quarterbacks in the state, passing for over 601 yards on the season. One costly turnover could be the difference in this game.

St. Viator (0-3, 0-1) @ Joliet Catholic (3-0, 1-0), 7:30

CB: If there's any time Lions coach Chris Kirkpatrick might want to double-check to see if Brett Basanez and Jarrett Payton have any eligibility left, this is it. His team has been on the short end of thee blowouts in the East Suburban Catholic, and now face the king of the hill at Joliet Memorial. JCA avenged last fall's 5A quarterfinal loss to Peoria Richwoods with last Friday's 63-34 win, as Northwestern-bound Malin Jones rushed for 242 yards & 4 TD's. Ty Isaac "only" ran for 3, but churned out 273 yards on the ground.

8 Loyola (3-0) @ Providence (3-0), 7:30

SK: After a dominant, 48-13 victory over Lake Forest Academy, Loyola hits the road to take on Providence in their Catholic League - Blue opener. Providence has already matched their win total of last season, doing so with a balanced running game featuring Jack Klyczek, Andy Hoffmeister and Brandon Price. No one has been able to slow down Ramblers quarterback, Malcom Weaver. Weaver is a dual-threat quarterback that could make you pay with his arm and explosive scrambling ability.

Niles North (1-2) @ 1 Maine South (3-0), 7:00
CB: Who (if anyone) can knock off the three-time defending 8A champs? The well-oiled machine rolled past Deerfield last week behind 3 TD's on the ground from 5 foot 4 Paul Preston and another three through the air from junior QB Matt Alviti. It's hard to imagine anyone on the rest of their schedule putting a blemish on their record prior to the playoffs. They'll host the Vikings in this Central Suburban crossover, and their only win was by forfeit over Niles West sandwiched between losses to Oak Lawn and Waukegan.

Elmwood Park (2-1) @ Ridgewood (0-3), 7:00

SK: The Tigers offense finally started to click last Friday, with a 40-0 shutout of Carver Military Academy. Senior QB Tom Senn leads Elmwood Park into enemy territory to take on longtime rival, Ridgewood. The Rebels are winless but came up just short in 22-14 loss against King. Could this be the week that Ridgewood notches their first win?

Huntley (0-3, 0-1) @ 17 Crystal Lake South (3-0, 1-0), 7:15

CB: We'll feature the Gators this week after their dramatic, last-second, game-winning 51 field goal by a birthday boy last week at Cary-Grove. Led by an inspiring coach and a defense that's allowed just 13 points, they'll need to safeguard against a letdown versus the Red Raiders, who've had a brutal schedule this opening month (dropping a 43-2 decision last week to the newest Fox Valley "Valley" member, 12 Prairie Ridge). Despite Brad Walovitch's heroics in last Friday's win, Reese Dziedzic was the unsung hero, setting up the kick with a 16-yard run off a fake punt, and catching a pass for the Gators' lone touchdown.

Marian Catholic (2-1, 2-1) @ 10 Carmel (2-1, 2-1), 7:30

SK: The Corsairs have rebounded nicely, winning their last two games, after a heart-breaking season opening loss to Joliet Catholic. Carmel running back Jordan Kos is as dangerous as they come in the open field. Look for the Corsairs to feed Kos the rock early and often. If the Spartans have any chance of pulling off an upset, they will need running back Jeruel Taylor to have a repeat performance of his 197 yard, two touchdown game against Benet.

Record Hunting

Mount Carmel (3-0) @ St. Joseph (0-3), Saturday 1:30 p.m.

SK: Last week, Frank Lenti tied the legendary Gary Korhonen of Richards with his 306th career win. If Mount Carmel can get past St. Joseph on Saturday, Lenti will break the states all-time career wins record. The Caravan walloped De La Salle last week, 40-7. Being outscored 145-13 on the season, the Chargers have little chance of pulling off the upset. Look for Lenti to have his name atop the record books by Saturday evening.

Transfer troubles

Chicago Pubic League sports administration director Calvin Davis ruled Julian senior DaeShaun Hurley ineligible for the season on Monday. Hurley transferred to Julian from Morgan Park after head coach Lexie Spurlock was fired following the season. Hurley was highly regarded as one of the best players in the state and despite being ineligible he is still being recruited by a handful of D-1 schools.

Coaching Carousel

Rumors swirled around Fenwick High School after the dismissal of head coach Joe DiCanio on Tuesday but no one is quite sure whether he resigned or was fired. DiCanio led the Friars to a Prep Bowl title last season but his team was just (1-2) to start the season. Scott Thies, Class of 99 and Fenwick athletic director, will take over head coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season.

On tap

Tune in to see St. Patrick, our Muscle Milk Team of the Week as they prepare for their upcoming match-up with Nazareth Academy. Also, Chris Boden highlights Frank Lenti as he goes for career win 307. Our Flashback segment this week takes us back to Pierre Thomas glory days at T.F. South. See how Thomas went from an undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois to a Super Bowl champion with the Saints. Well also be previewing Saturdays games.

If you have any story ideas, feel free to email us at: csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

No matter the metric or the occasion, the only thing definitive about the Bulls over the last two seasons has been their mystifying dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers in head-to-head matchups.

That, and their fascinating streak of consecutive wins while playing at home on TNT, a streak that could end at 19 games Thursday night when the two teams with varying objectives clash at the United Center.

The Cavaliers are searching to find themselves, along with a light switch that will perhaps alert them to a lost defense over the past several weeks that has been worst in the league since the All-Star break.

The Bulls are searching for consistency, but since it’s probably a little too late in the season for that, they’ll settle for a playoff spot with eight games left.

They’ll take two straight wins for the first time in a month, if they can get it.

They’ll extend a goofy streak, if that’s what things will come down to.

“The big thing is obviously you have to execute very well against this Cleveland team,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You have to go out there with great urgency, great energy. I anticipate them coming in and playing with a ton of energy tomorrow. We’re going to have to match that. We’re going to have to come out and play physical basketball.”

Having a big break between games this late in the season is a rarity, as the Bulls have been off since Sunday evening, but it’s just another weird detail in this weird Bulls experience.

An experience that the mild-mannered Hoiberg has to experience from his couch some nights, such as watching the Miami Heat furiously steal a game in Detroit at the buzzer with a Hasaan Whiteside tip-in to extend a lead over his team to a game, followed by another win Wednesday to put more distance between the two teams.

“I did, actually,” said Hoiberg with a smirk when asked if he’s scoreboard watching and paying attention to the teams ahead of the Bulls in the playoff race.

After being prompted to give his raw emotions when Whiteside’s tip-in occurred, he slipped right back to Robo-Hoiberg—although one can imagine how animated he must’ve been while looking to catch a break from a previous contender for the eighth spot in the Pistons.

“It is what it is,” Hoiberg said. “You have to go out and worry about yourselves at this time of year. It was a great finish for Miami, obviously, the way that game ended. But there’s nothing you can do about that. You’ve got to worry about yourselves and hopefully go out and execute.”

Going 6-1 against the Cavaliers in his two seasons as Bulls coach is probably the biggest feather in his cap, including three wins in all three meetings this go round.

The rhyme or reason doesn’t seem explainable, but Nikola Mirotic seemed to give a few keys to the Bulls’ success over LeBron James’ Cavaliers: Sharing the ball, controlling the glass and getting back on defense.

“Against big teams, we play much better,” Mirotic said. “I don’t know why is the reason for that. We need to find a way to play against everybody like that. It’s on us. We just have to prove it.”

Usually, those tenets seem to work against most teams, not just the supremely talented champions who’ve just lost a grip on first place in the conference.

But their inconsistencies have left the Bulls here with a handful of games left before the April 12th finale.

A win over Cleveland could mean everything, or nothing at all, or something in between.

“Sure, we understand,” Mirotic said. “We’ve been in a very similar situation last year. We didn’t make the playoffs so this year we want to try to make that push. I think we have a good schedule for the last. Very important game tomorrow, huge one. I think we have played very well against Cleveland until now. We have a chance. We need to get out there and play with energy.” 

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