Sobolewski leads Benet over H-F for title


Sobolewski leads Benet over H-F for title

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
8:08 PM

By Patrick Z. McGavin

David Sobolewski saw the crease.

I had a ball screen, I waited for the defender to drop down to guard Frank Kaminsky and made my move, the Benet senior guard said.

His layup with just under two minutes was the only basket of overtime as the No. 3 Redwings overcame a nine-point first-half deficit and beat No. 7 Homewood-Flossmoor 54-50 to capture the Proviso West Holiday Tournament championship Thursday night.

It was a war out there, said Sobolewski, the Northwestern-bound guard who scored a game-high 19 points and was named the tournament MVP.

Kaminsky, the 7-foot Wisconsin recruit playing with a nagging ankle injury, made the defensive play of the night.

Kaminsky (12 points, nine rebounds) made the other critical play of the game. With the Vikings down 52-50 after Matt Parisi (nine points) made one of two free throws with less than 15 seconds remaining, Homewood-Flossmoors Tyrone Sherman (11 points, five assists) drove to the basket and appeared to have a clear path to a layup.

Kaminsky rose and made a textbook block. Parisi collected the loose ball and was fouled. His two free throws with 11.2 seconds closed out the scoring.

Behind the early hot hand of David Fatoki (10 points, two three-pointers), the Vikings led by nine on two separate occasions in the second quarter. Receiving key contributions from sophomore Pat McInerney (seven points) and Pat Boyle (seven points), the Redwings opened the third quarter with a 13-5 run to establish their first lead since 6-5.

The two keys of the game were Frank playing, when we didnt even know if he was going to be able to go after he had treatment on his ankle, and the play of Pat Boyle, Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said.

His ball-handling against their pressure and what he did defensively, within the scheme of what we do, individually against a great player like Julian Lewis was tremendous.

H-F star forward Julian Lewis, coming off back-to-back games of 31 and 28 points, was hurt by foul trouble and scored just four points. His only basket, a three-pointer, gave the Vikings a 40-36 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Kaminsky opened the fourth quarter with five straight points, his three-pointer marking the first of four lead changes. Defensively, H-F really hurt us in the first half, Heidkamp said.

Theyre a great team, with five guys on the floor that can score at any time. They hurt on us in the inside and got a lot of easy baskets in the first half. We really had to step it up defensively in the second half.

Antonio Bishop scored 13 points to lead the Vikings. Delvon Rencher added eight points.

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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