No. 4 Warren rolls past Libertyville


No. 4 Warren rolls past Libertyville

By Bryan Bonato
With a game against unbeaten Proviso East less than 24 hours away, Warren still was able to stay focused on the task at hand Friday and drilled a good Libertyville squad 81-42 in the North Suburban Conference Lake Division finale for both teams. The Devils (21-2 overall, 11-1 and division champs) will meet the Pirates at 6:30 Saturday as part of a tripleheader at Proviso West.Libertyville (14-11 overall, 4-8 in the division) will face Grant on Tuesday.Fridays game was 19-8 after one quarter 33-19 at halftime and 57-31 after three quarters.Darius Paul hit four three-pointers in the first half and scored 21 of his 23 points before the break. He hit his first seven shots of the game and was 8-for-13 overall. Mitch Munda (11), JoVaughn Gaines (11), Jon Geske (8) and Nate Boothe (8) all contributed to the rout. No Libertyville player scored in double figures. High-scoring Griffin Pils had three points. Anthony Mack led with nine. Reserves played most of the fourth quarter.I got on a nice run, said Paul. They left me open in the first half and the shots were falling for me.When asked about playing Proviso East, Warren coach Chuck Ramsey joked that Warrens next game is a JV game tomorrow (Saturday morning). Well have a meeting after that to talk about what to do. As for this win, Ramsey said, The kids played well. We were able to push the ball and only committed 11 turnovers. We did a great job on the board, moved the ball well for the most part, Jameris Smith had a great game passing, and Darius came out and really played well. He was in a nice, relaxed rhythm tonight.

Cubs enjoy 'Anchorman' road trip after big home stand: '60 percent of the time, it works every time'

Cubs enjoy 'Anchorman' road trip after big home stand: '60 percent of the time, it works every time'

Win or lose, the Cubs were always going to leave Wrigley Field on a good note Thursday evening.

Joe Maddon made sure of that.

The Cubs left "The Friendly Confines" dressed in "Anchorman" attire for Maddon's themed road trip that included Kyle Schwarber dressed as fictional sportscaster Champ Kind, right down to the gallon-size hat.

"Champ's my guy," Schwarber said.

John Lackey also got in the spirit of Champ Kind

Maddon thought Schwarber was the perfect fit for Champ Kind.

"Of course he should be," Maddon said. "Isn't that a [John] Lackey kinda look, also?

"I just love that they're into it. It would've been perfect going to San Diego first, but I'll take it."

The Cubs are shipping out to Los Angeles for a weekend series beginning Friday before heading to San Diego — the site of Ron Burgandy's affection — from there.

The Cubs apparently even have some "Sex Panther" on board, the cologne that Paul Rudd's character used that smelled...shall we say...awful.

"Sex Panther's on board," Maddon said before Thursday's game. "I'm hearing a lot of good things about Sex Panther. 'Sixty percent of the time, [it works every time].' I wanna know who wrote that. That's brilliant.

"Of course, a win always makes it better, but even after a loss, it's a good way to just let 'er go. But I think everybody's embraced the 'Anchorman' very well."

Of course, the Cubs did win, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-1 to close out a 7-2 home stand.

Check out some of the best photos as the Cubs exited Wrigley Field on Thursday:

Cubs slug their way to impressive homestand

Cubs slug their way to impressive homestand

For the third straight year, the Cubs' season could hinge on an important series with the San Francisco Giants.

In August of 2015, the Cubs swept the Giants in a four-game set at Wrigley Field and they built off that momentum to win 97 games and make it all the way to the National League Championship Series.

Last fall, the Cubs rallied to beat the Giants in an epic comeback in Game 4 of the NLDS, essentially winning the World Series in that game, by Joe Maddon's opinion.

The 2017 Cubs have spent all year hovering around .500 before winning three of four against the Giants this week at Wrigley, looking more and more like the defending champs.

Thursday's 5-1 win over the Giants was the icing on top of an impressive 7-2 homestand that also featured a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds and a split in a rain-shortened series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs are now 14-11 at home and 25-21 overall, having caught up to the Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. 

They also flashed plenty of defense throughout the homestand, including Javy Baez's ridiculous play in the eighth inning of the series finale against the Giants:

Eddie Butler turned in another solid start, allowing just a run in five innings. Mike Montgomery faced one above the minimum in four innings of relief, inducing six outs on ground balls.

Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist delivered the offense with a solo homer each off former Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Bryant and Anthony Rizzo added insurance by both scoring on a wild pitch (and subsequent error) in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Heyward's blast was his fifth of the season. He didn't earn his fifth homer of 2016 until July 29.

On the nine-game homestand, the Cubs found their offense, scoring 59 runs — good for 6.56 runs per game.

They also smashed 20 home runs, which is nearly a third of their season total (62). On the homestand, 45.7 percent of the Cubs' runs came via the longball.