High School Lites Preview: Basketball is back

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High School Lites Preview: Basketball is back

The road to Peoria starts here.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is your home for high school basketball coverage. Every Friday night at 10:30, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from the Chicagoland hardwoods. We'll also have in-depth feature stories and take a look back down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment.

This week, we catch up with former college basketball standout Tom Kleinschmidt. The former DePaul and Gordon Tech star is now the head Duke on the sidelines at York. How has he adjusted to high school coaching? Our Gail Fischer has the story.

Here is a snapshot of each Friday night game Comcast SportsNet will be covering this week on High School Lites:

Andrew at Thornton, 6:30 p.m.

Is this the year that Andrew finally busts through? The Thunderbolts (3-0) have a pair of brothers that could make waves come playoff time: Jawad Adekoya (6-3 Sr. F) and his younger brother Jubril (6-5, Jr. F). Thornton (0-3) will contend in the Southwest Suburban Red, but they face learning curves after losing eight seniors from last years team.

Reavis at Hillcrest, 6:30 p.m.

The visiting Rams (2-2) might have their hands full in Country Club Hills Friday night. But will Hillcrest be looking ahead to Saturdays clash with top-ranked Simeon? The Hawks (3-1) are loaded in the frontcourt, with Jayone Troutman (F) and Jalen Loving (F) leading the way for coach Don Houstons crew.

Joliet West at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00 p.m.

The 3-1 Tigers could end up pushing H-F for tops in the Southwest Suburban Blue conference. Center Marlon Johnson is the go to guy for West. Can they hang with a Vikings team considered to be one of the best in Chicagoland? H-F (3-1) is loaded, with football-turned-basketball star Tim Williams (F) leading the way.

St. Rita at De La Salle, 7:30 p.m.

Circle this game as the best matchup of the night. De La Salle (4-0) lost guard Jaylon Tate to Simeon, but the Meteors have more than enough gas in the tank with 6-9 Gavin Schilling, a transfer from Germany, being a true difference-maker. Same applies for Tony Hicks (G) and A.J. Avery (F) for the Mustangs (1-0), who opened their season with a win over Lake Forest Academy.
Huntley at Carmel, 7:30 p.m.

The Red Raiders (3-0) went 25-5 last season and could do some damage in March. Forward Amanze Egekeze and Guard Troy Miller are the go-to guys on offense. Huntley has already beaten Harper, St. Francis de Sales and Dundee Crown. Carmel (2-2) might face an uphill battle, but they can counter with Brandon Motzel at forward.

Lake Forest at Mundelein, 7:30 p.m.

Warren and Zion-Benton are the front-runners for a hotly-contested North Suburban Lake conference crown, but dont overlook the Scouts and Mustangs. Forward Thomas Durrett has provided a spark for Lake Forest (3-1) while Mundelein (5-0) has shot out of the gate with wins over, among others, Brooks. Keep an eye on junior guard Robert Knar.

We will also catch up with CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week, the Broncos of Montini High School. Quarterback John Rhode, wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp and company reflect on their third consecutive state championship. Will a four-peat be in the cards? Well also show you celebrations from other football state champions, including Bolingbrook and Prairie Ridge.

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.

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

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AP

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

Where it all went wrong for Cubs and Miguel Montero

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

Kris Bryant’s sprained ankle is more bad news for Cubs: ‘You can’t cry about it’

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What's next for Blackhawks as free agency looms?

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Nationals today on CSN

Preview: White Sox host Yankees tonight on CSN

Bulls Talk Podcast: An NBA gone wild and Zach LaVine sit down interview

How Rick Renteria has tried to help White Sox players combat travel fatigue

What pushed Theo Epstein over the edge in making Miguel Montero decision: ‘It screamed out’

 

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

The two fastballs that soared to the backstop on Wednesday night should give you a strong indication that Carlos Rodon was far from perfect.

But in making his first start of the 2017 season, the White Sox pitcher also offered his team plenty of signals that his health isn’t going to be an issue.

Rodon returned to the mound for the first time since last September and brought the goods that made him one of baseball’s top pitching prospects several years ago. Given he’d missed three months with bursitis in the left shoulder and the potential value he offers to a franchise only half a season into its first rebuild in 20 years, that was plenty for the White Sox to overlook the rust Rodon showed in a 12-3 White Sox loss to the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He started a little rough early obviously, got some high pitch counts,” manager Rick Renteria said. “And then he kind of settled down.

“Having him back in the rotation and getting him back out there on the big league field, coming out of there feeling good, healthy. I'm sure he will continue to get better as he continues to get out there and move forward.”

Renteria said he wasn’t surprised that Rodon struggled with his command as much as he did against the Yankees. The issues the pitcher displayed in uncorking a pair of wild pitches, walking six batters and throwing strikes on only 41 of 94 pitches were also present during Rodon’s four rehab starts in the minors.

But as long as the stuff was there, the White Sox would be OK with any issues that accompanied the performance. Rodon began to alleviate those concerns immediately when he earned a called strike on the game’s first pitch with a 93-mph fastball to Brett Gardner. Featuring a four-seamer with an absurd amount of movement and a nasty slider he struggled to control, Rodon checked all the boxes the White Sox hoped for from a pitcher they believe will be a frontline starter for years to come. Rodon also was pleased by how he felt before, during and after the contest.

“I was pretty excited,” Rodon said. “I was going a little fast in the first. But it was good to be out there. Next time out, it’ll hopefully be a little better. Arm feels good, body feels good, all you can ask for.”

Well, it’s not ALL you can ask for, but it’s pretty damn good out of the gate given how slow Rodon’s return took. His four-seam fastball averaged 94.9 mph according to BrooksBaseball.Net and touched 97 mph. His two-seamer averaged 94.4 mph and touched 95. And his slider, though he couldn’t control it, nor locate it for a strike, averaged 86 mph.

“You could see (Omar Narvaez) going over to try to catch some balls that were having tremendous run,” Renteria said. “That's (Rodon). He's got some tremendous life, he's just trying to harness it the best that he can and being able to execute where he wants to get as many strikes as possible.”

[VIVID SEATS: Get your White Sox tickets here]

The strikes were about the only thing Rodon didn’t bring with him. He walked Gardner to start the game and issued two more free passes after a Tim Anderson error allowed a run to score and extended the first inning. Rodon threw 37 pitches in the first, only 15 for strikes.

He also reached a full count to each of the batters he faced in the second inning. Rodon walked two more with two outs in the third inning after he’d retired six batters in a row.

And there were those pesky first-inning wild pitches that resembled something out of ‘Bull Durham.’

But all in all, Rodon and the White Sox ultimately saw enough in the first outing to be pleased.

“Great stuff, great life, but the goal is to put it in the zone and let them swing it to get guys out early,” Rodon said. “That’s not what happened. I’ll get back to that.”

“It’s a tough loss, but it’s better to be with the guys out on the field grinding than sitting on the couch and watching, for sure.”