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SOUTH HOLLAND | Donte Thomas didn't take a lot of shots Tuesday. But he made a lot of the ones he did take.
CRETE | Asked how the south suburban basketball cognoscenti likely viewed Hillcrest's basketball program vs. her own before Saturday, Crete-Monee guard Alexia DeBose smiled.
SOUTH HOLLAND | All of 80 seconds into Thornwood's conference opener against rival Thornton, the Thunderbirds' star player, Donte Thomas, had a shot blocked, picked up a foul, was involved in some on-court chest-bumping and was one of two recipients in a double-technical.
LANSING | Crystal Lee hits hard.
FLOSSMOOR | There are lots of things Tony Smith hopes to do at Homewood-Flossmoor, but it is almost inevitable that the first-year Vikings girls basketball coach has to start a lot of conversations these days explaining the things he said he didn't do.
FRANKFORT | Last season, Marian Catholic won the girls Class 4A state basketball title. Tuesday, with a new coach, the Spartans set about defending it.
SOUTH HOLLAND | There are a lot of things different about the Seton Academy boys basketball team this year. But on the first day of practice, guard Eron Evans said the goals are the same as they were the last three seasons under former coach Brandon Thomas.
ELGIN | When it, all too quickly, was over, St. Francis de Sales coach Arlene Ramos shrugged.
ELGIN | The Lady Pioneers of St. Francis de Sales swear they're working on teamwork, on communication, on supporting each other.
Her younger sister, a teammate, describes her as "sassy." Her coach, to whom she has been known to suggest lineup changes, regards her as "a determined young lady."
FRANKFORT | When it was over, Tom Padjen stood in a cold drizzle, weary players kneeling before him, and delivered the sort of speech he's delivered 36 times before.
TINLEY PARK | It was the worst possible ending, and the best possible message.
Running long distances seems like a solitary pursuit, but at Homewood-Flossmoor, the Vikings' best distance runners travel in a pack.
NEW LENOX | To say Illiana Chistian's Vikings were freaking out might be an understatement.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | They both call Chicago Heights home, and they both walked into Marian Catholic's gym with 18-17 records in the regular season.
CHICAGO | The numbers look good to Arlene Ramos.
ORLAND PARK | A year before Saturday's Class 3A Andrew Regional at Turtlehead Lake, Daya Johnson was likely on her couch.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Tony Palombi tried to put on a cautious face.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Bloom Township's Skye McNutt didn't start Thursday against Crete-Monee at Bloom Trail, because it was senior night.
FLOSSMOOR | There is no irony in Allison Lessner's nickname, none of that calling the big kid "Tiny" sort of thing.
LANSING | From the corners of her eyes, Leah Lagestee smiled at a familiar face approaching through the post-game mosh Tuesday night at T.F. South.
NEW LENOX | Down 21-0 and riding a three-game losing streak into the conference leader's home field, Thornton's Wildcats probably should have been deflated at halftime of their visit Friday to Lincoln-Way West.
When No. 2 Homewood-Flossmoor's Craig Buzea and his Bolingbrook counterpart John Ivlow met at midfield for the coin toss prefacing overtime of their Friday meeting in Flossmoor, the coaches of two of Illinois' best football teams hugged.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | For a change, especially in Chris Taborn's four years on the varsity, Marian Catholic's boys soccer team has bigger plans than playing spoiler in the East Suburban Catholic.
By his own admission, Illiana Christian golfer Steven Massey is "pretty scrawny."
TINLEY PARK | In his 28th season, after 189 wins and now 98 losses, you'd think Bill Mosel had seen it all.
LANSING | Freddy Herrara was in Phoenix on business Tuesday, but his words -- rather, his word -- echoed through the gym at Illiana Christian as the Vikings toiled early in a Metro Suburban match with Riverside-Brookfield.
LANSING | Their 18-game winning streak is gone, but T.F. South's Rebels showed Monday they are very much the same team that put that impressive skein together before Lemont snapped it six days earlier.
PARK FOREST | A week ago, No. 3 Crete-Monee had a 17-game winning streak snapped by an ugly score, falling to Benet Academy.
FLOSSMOOR | Vashon Nutt didn't know much about the single-wing offense, but the Homewood-Flossmoor senior running back knows enough not to question Vikings coach Craig Buzea.
LEMONT | Fittingly, Lemont ended the evening with an ace.
Fittingly, in Wildcats country, Friday's SouthWest Suburban Red showdown between Thornton and Bradley-Boutbonnais featured as wild a final four minutes, 49 seconds as a football fan can imagine.
LANSING | It is heady stuff these days to be a T.F. South volleyball player.
LANSING | Illiana Christian posted a comfortable Metro Suburban Conference win Tuesday over Fenton. Maybe too comfortable.
CHICAGO | A contest featuring more combined wins by the coaches than any other football game in IHSA history might have seemed like an attractive matchup, especially since No. 1 Mount Carmel and Bishop McNamara came in ranked among the elite in their respective classes.
LANSING | The score sheet was as balanced a ledger as you'll find.
No. 2 Crete-Monee might not have quite the offensive star power it had in the run to its unbeaten season a year ago, but the Warriors are still finding plenty of ways to score.
LANSING | Marian Catholic dropped its fourth volleyball match in a row Wednesday, and coach Ryan Summers had only himself to blame. Sort of.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | A day later than anticipated, the Jerry Verde era nonetheless got off to a quick start Saturday at Marian Catholic.
CHICAGO | He may be a wide receiver as well as a cornerback these days, but at his core Christian Searles remains a defensive player first.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | It was suggested to Dave Mattio that Friday evening's meteorological fireworks were God's way of saying he didn't want anyone else coaching at Marian Catholic.
LANSING | Her team had just opened its season with nearly two hours of volleyball in a losing effort, in a sweltering gym, yet Nikki Van Dyke found plenty to smile about Monday at Illiana Christian.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS | For the last two years in Marian Catholic's resurgent volleyball program, Kendyl Todd has spent most of her time trying to get noticed.
HAMMOND | Who knew Andrean had this many guys not named Matt DeSomer?
It wasn't exactly as hectic as the process that led him last month to pick the University of Illinois as his college football destination, but Matt Domer faced another big choice a little more than four years ago.
In eight seasons at Marian Catholic, girls basketball coach Annie Byrne absorbed 51 losses — most against the very best competition, many in important games.
Grant Nykaza heartily endorses the concept of the runner's high — that elusive feeling that comes to some, when the pain and the breathing and the footfalls melt away into a sort of cardio-induced bliss.
OAK LAWN | The Richards 7-on-7 Passing Camp is a media day of sorts for those who make their living covering high school sports.
His given name, Raphael, would seem fitting for this football Renaissance man.
OAK LAWN | When last the sporting public saw Mount Carmel's Marko Boricich, the left-hander was pitching the Caravan to an 8-0 in the Class 4A semifinals June 7 in Joliet.
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