Lake Central grad Mike Miklusak is a little too young to be punching the clock and taking his lunch pail to work, but that’s exactly what the blue-collar player is doing at Western Illinois.
Much like he did for the Indians.
Miklusak, a former Times all-area performer, was recently named to the all-tournament team at the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Classic in El Paso, Texas.
Miklusak led the Leathernecks in rebounding in two games, grabbing seven boards and adding two assists in a 64-62 thrilling overtime victory over Alcorn State in the championship tilt.
Miklusak is averaging 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds a game for the 6-9 Leathernecks in a reserved role as a true freshman.
For a dash of region flavor, Western Illinois and Miklusak hosted William & Mary and Munster freshman grad Michael Schlotman on Saturday. Schlotman has played in three of 14 games for the Tribe. William and Mary won the game, 78-67, with Miklusak scoring nine points and grabbing five boards off the bench. Schlotman did not see action.
* The region trio of Charles Cooper (Lew Wallace), BJ Jenkins (Merrillville) and Jelani Pruit (Merrillville) is doing quite well at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan.
The high-scoring team is averaging 110.1 points a game and only giving up 79 — a scoring margin of 31.1 points per contest for the 14-1 squad.
Cooper is averaging 14.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Jenkins is not far behind at 12.9 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds. Pruitt is averaging 11.1 points and 4.2 rebounds.
* Saint Xavier University senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso) was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Men’s Basketball Player of the Week once again.
Karp, who has claimed the award for the fourth time this season and third week in a row, carried the Cougars to the SXU Midwest Tournament title with a 23-point, 10-rebound, four-assist effort in an 85-76 victory over Bellevue (Neb.) University.
Karp leads the league in scoring at 28.1 points a game — better than six points per game over his next closest challenger.
* University of Southern Indiana’s Aaron Nelson (Bloom) leads the unbeaten squad (9-0) in every category: 22.3 points and 13.4 rebounds per game, respectively, and is tops with 25 assists and 15.
Bucknell sophomore 125-pounder Paul Petrov (Hanover Central) came one win away from placing at the highly-competitive Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Petrov, the No. 12 seed in his bracket, posted a 3-0 record to get into the quarterfinals. Petrov, who had a nine-match winning streak going, ended up 3-2 in the tournament.
* Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis (Crown Point) finished fifth at 149 pounds at the 51st Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. Tsirtsis was seeded first, but lost his first two matches of the season at the meet.
* Indiana’s Eric Roach (Crown Point), a two-time state champ and a former teammate and training partner with Tsirtsis, was 2-2 for the Hoosiers at 149 pounds. Tsirtsis and Roach actually ran into each other at Saturday’s dual meet between the host Wildcats and Hoosiers. No. 13 Northwestern won 27-12 over No. 23 Indiana, with Tsirtsis scoring a 17-4 major decision over Roach at 149.
University of Alabama-Birmingham’s Karisma Chapman (T.F. North) is tops on the team in both scoring and rebounding at 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds, respectively. She is also second with 25 steals.