High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
9:08 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Comcast SportsNet is the place to be for high school sports! Fridays edition of High School Lites will feature 11 ranked teams in action, including battles between Proviso East and Downers Grove South, along with St. Ignatius and De La Salle. Also, David Kaplan has the story of Reilly OToole: the state champion quarterback from Wheaton Warrenville Southwho also knows a thing or two about basketball. Well preview the High School Hoops Showdown in Hoffman Estates and well take a stroll down memory lane in our flashback segment, featuring Simeon. Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

Hyde Park @ (19) Curie, 4:00pm

No, its not exactly Bears-Packers, but the highly anticipated matchup between Hyde Park and Curie has the makings of a classic. Its a fight for Red Central conference supremacy. Although Hyde Park (15-3, 7-0) isnt ranked, they will be coming in with a lot of momentum after Wednesdays 63-46 win at King. Aqui Shareef leads a very well-balanced attack for the Thunderbirds. Curie is coming off an 88-42 thrashing of Chicago Richards, which netted them their 20th win on the year. Devin Foster had 23 in the win.

Schurz @ Steinmetz, 4:00pm

Like Hyde Park-Curie, the Schurz-Steinmetz game will also be one that could decide a conference championship. This time, the Blue-North bragging rights could be up for grabs. Schurz is 18-2 after a 58-28 pasting of Northside. Francisco Uriostegui is the go-to guy for the Bulldogs. Their 7-0 record in conference will be tested Friday by a Steinmetz team who beat Lake View 53-46 on Wednesday. The Silver Streaks (15-3, 6-0) are one of the deepest teams in conference. Their guard Pierre Baptiste will get a lot of looks.

(18) Downers Grove South @ (4) Proviso East, 6:00pm

Look out for the 4th ranked Pirates. They are on fire after two wins over marquee programs (Glenbard East and North Lawndale). Sterling Brown, the younger brother of the Lakers Shannon, has emerged as a leader. Center Trashaun Carroll is tough to contain as well. But Downers South will provide a serious challenge. Guards Jerron Wilbut and Jamall Millison have nice touches on the ball, and center Ziggy Riauka can dominate the low post. The Mustangs have won three straight since winning the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.

Stagg @ Thornwood, 6:00pm

Lets face it, Thorntons going to be very tough to catch in the SW Suburban Red conference, but the race for second is intriguing in its own way, as four teams come into this weekends action with 3-2 recordstwo of them being Chargers and Thunderbirds. Stagg has won four of their last five, including Tuesdays 66-37 victory over Oak Lawn. Thornwood lost a heartbreaking 62-61 decision Friday to Bradley-Bourbonnais. Theyre led by Darrel Combs, one of the best guards in the conference.

(2) Benet @ Marist, 7:30pm

Benets David Sobolewski will try to play with a sore back Friday night on the south side. The Northwestern-bound guard cannot afford to have his team look ahead to Saturdays showdown against 17 Glenbard East. Benet defeated St. Viator 48-32 on Tuesday. Fellow East Suburban Catholic foe Marist comes in with a 13-8 record after Tuesdays 73-64 loss to Brother Rice. Guards L.J. McIntosh and Paul Simmons, along with center Nick Weishar will hope to contain an elite Benet team thats loaded with talent.

St. Patrick @ Nazareth, 7:30pm

Another intriguing game in the ESCCthis time in La Grange Park. Both teams are chasing Benetand they both feature standout forwards: Ryan Powers for Nazareth, and Jacob Williams for St. Patrick. Nazareth is hoping for a win here to give them some momentum for next weeks showdown against Benet. As for the Shamrocks, theyre coming in off an impressive 63-46 win over Niles West in Skokie.

(7) De La Salle @ (24) St. Ignatius, 7:30pm

The uniforms on the floor tomorrow night will probably feature a lot of blue, white, gold and red--- but the game really features a lot of orange. Illinois recruits Mike Shaw (De La Salle) and 6-10 Nnanna Egwu (St. Ignatius) tangle in a prime showdown in the Catholic North conference. Both players are the go-to guys on their respective rosters. The 7th ranked Meteors are coming off a 3rd place finish in a Missouri tournament last weekend. St. Ignatius has won five in a row, including Sundays impressive win over Orr in the MLK Shootout.

Glenbrook North @ Niles North, 7:30pm

Niles North may not seem like a basketball powerhouse, but they could end up turning some heads come playoff time. The Vikings dribble-drive motion offense, installed by former Maine East coach Glenn Olson, has given New Mexico recruit Abdel Nader (a Maine East transfer himself) a lot of gaudy scoring numbers. Niles North will be challenged by a Glenbrook North team with a lot of size up frontand a lot of momentum from their last two wins. They beat Maine East 82-31, and then Glenbrook South 66-39.

Maine South @ (16) Evanston, 7:30pm

Like the Glenbrook North-Niles North game, Central Suburban South tenants Maine South and Evanston are also fighting for first in their conference as well. The 16th ranked Wildkits will come in with something to prove after Tuesday nights 44-39 loss to Loyola. The focal point of the Kits offense is guard Garrett Jones, one of the top guards in the area. Maine South has quite a guard of their own in Matt Palucki. The Hawks have won six straight and already have a win over Evanston this year: a 51-45 decision on December 7.

THURSDAY GAME:

(9) Whitney Young 49, (25) Orr 39

Ohio State-bound Sam Thompson scored 16 points and Thomas Hamilton added 10 more as the 9th ranked Dolphins pull out a key Red West victory. Curtis Jones led the Spartans with 14 points and Illinois-bound Mycheal Henry had 11 more in the losing effort. Whitney Young will have only one day to celebrate their win, as they prepare to take on another ranked opponent Hales Franciscanon Saturday night. We will have postgame reaction to Thursdays game with Thompson and W-Y head coach Tyrone Slaughter.

Check us out Friday night at 10:30. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.

The learning curve for Ian Happ and how long Cubs will stick with the rookie

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AP

The learning curve for Ian Happ and how long Cubs will stick with the rookie

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs tried to downplay expectations at first with a top prospect, framing Ian Happ’s promotion from Triple-A Iowa as a short-term solution for a roster facing multiple injury issues.  

And then Happ blasted a two-run homer off Carlos Martinez – an All-Star/Opening Day starter for the Cardinals – in his big-league debut on May 13 and kept hitting to the point where he made it an easy decision for the Cubs to keep him around.

After the initial burst – seven extra-base hits in his first eight games – the Cubs have watched Happ go 2-for-16 with eight strikeouts in his last five games against the pitching-rich Giants and Dodgers.

How much patience will the Cubs have with a rookie learning on the job? And what is manager Joe Maddon looking to see now?

“How he reacts to bad moments,” Maddon said before Sunday’s game at Dodger Stadium, where the Cubs had been held scoreless for 18 straight innings. “If a guy starts kind of losing his mind a little bit, then you might have to back off of him. But if he’s able to handle the adversity well, then you kind of stay with it.

“I expect them all to struggle at different times. He’s probably done as good of a job adjusting over the last couple days to the way we’ve been pitched at as well as anybody.

“I have no preconceived notions of how long to stick with somebody or not. I think it’s up to the player and how you react to the bad moments.

“Because everybody looks good when they’re going good. How do you look when you’re going badly? That’s what really sets a guy apart. So far, I think he’s handled it really well, and he looked good at second base, too. The arm strength really plays there.”

This hasn’t changed Happ’s stone-faced expression or stopped him from making an impression with his athleticism on the bases and that ability to move between the infield and multiple outfield spots.  

[MORE: With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base]

Happ is also a good student who analyzes video and notices how teams have gone from challenging him with off-speed stuff during his first week in The Show to firing more elevated fastballs in the second week.  

“With all the information that’s disseminated these days, the league adjusts to you quickly, and it’s your job to adjust back,” Happ said. “It’s just always being on top of the way that you’re being pitched and constantly making adjustments to continue improving.”

As Maddon likes to say, all the shiny new toys and Big Data breakthroughs have favored pitching and defense, making it harder than ever for young hitters. 

“Obviously, the ability to scout the other team and break him down is much greater than it ever was,” Maddon said. “Back in the day, it was like a dude back there with a chew goes back to his room tonight and he recaps his notes that he took during the course of the day: ‘Down and away, up and in. Play him with a step to the pull side.’ That was the advance scouting reports. Now it’s broken down to the point where you actually have pertinent information.

“My point is Happ shows up on the scene. They start jumping in there and they probably could gather some intel from the past. And all of a sudden, they got a much better game plan. Now it’s up to him to adjust.”

Miguel Gonzalez throws six perfect innings as White Sox take series against Tigers

Miguel Gonzalez throws six perfect innings as White Sox take series against Tigers

For six innings Sunday, Miguel Gonzalez was perfect.

The White Sox right-hander put the baseball world on perfect-game alert and conjured memories of Mark Buehrle and Phillip Humber with his dazzling work through six innings. Gonzalez lost his bids for a perfect game, no hitter and shutout in the span of three batters to lead off the seventh inning, but that didn’t take away much from how good he was in a 7-3 win for the South Siders at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Gonzalez, who entered with a 3-5 record and a 4.55 ERA in nine previous starts this season, set down the first 18 hitters he faced in order, with the visiting Detroit Tigers rarely even coming close to reaching base. That streak of 18 straight hitters retired to start the game was the longest by a White Sox starter since Chris Sale sat down the first 19 he faced back in May 2013.

The Tigers — who trailed big after the White Sox gave Gonzalez a 7-0 lead — finally broke through to start the seventh. Austin Romine reached on an infield single, Alex Avila singled through the right side of the infield, and Miguel Cabrera dumped an RBI base hit into right field.

Detroit added two more runs on three extra-base hits in the eighth, but Gonzalez still finished with a great line, yielding just three runs on six hits in 7.2 innings of work.

Gonzalez’s gem snapped a streak of rough outings that started, coincidentally enough, against this Tigers team, when he was crushed for seven runs on 14 hits in an April 30 loss in Detroit. Entering Sunday’s game, Gonzalez was a nasty 0-5 with a 6.99 ERA in his previous five starts. He hadn’t made it out of the sixth inning in any of his previous three starts.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

That seventh-inning blip by the Tigers ended the day’s only drama, as the White Sox offense put the result of the game out of question earlier, tagging opposing starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann for seven runs in his five innings of work.

Zimmermann entered the day struggling on the 2017 campaign, and that didn’t change Sunday. Willy Garcia tripled in Omar Narvaez for the game’s first run in the third and scored on the same play thanks to a throwing error. Two hitters later, Melky Cabrera hit a solo home run to make it 3-0.

Matt Davidson led off the bottom of the fourth with his 10th home run of the season, and Narvaez drove in Yolmer Sanchez to make it 5-0. Todd Frazier tacked on two more in the fifth with a two-run shot that also scored Jose Abreu.

The White Sox took three of four from the Tigers in this weekend series that featured a doubleheader split Saturday. It’s a positive start to this home stand — which continues with a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox — after going 3-7 on a recent 10-game road trip.