CALUMET CITY | After a win early this season over another of the top teams in the metropolitan area, Bogan's LuWane Pipkins declared himself "the best guard in the city."
After Pipkins went off for a school-record 40 points Sunday in a 76-50 win over T.F. South in the Coaches Against Cancer Basketball Tournament at T.F. North, Bengals coach Arthur Goodwin expanded the geography slightly, and disagreed.
"Tyler Ulis is the best to me," Goodwin said of the Marian Catholic point guard. "LuWane is a junior. He'll have Ulis' status next year."
South coach John O'Rourke has had the mixed fortune of facing both this season. For now, put him on Team Ulis.
"Tyler Ulis is an extremely good point guard," he said. "I've had the luxury of watching him the last four years. He's a phenomenal player.
"LuWane, he's a junior. I've watched him exactly four times on film, and (Sunday). He's more of a 2-guard, a very good jump shooter, physically strong and can get to the basket."
Pipkins hit 7-of-12 3-pointers, launching several from 23 feet and beyond, and added team highs of seven steals and six assists. Bogan (15-2) led by as many as 15 in the first half and 29 in the second, though the Rebels (7-9) cut it to four points early in the third quarter and was still within eight with three minutes to play in the period.
"Our kids played hard for 2 1/2 quarters," O'Rourke said. "We're pleased about that.
"But against these quality opponents, teams that are well-known, we've got to put four quarters of basketball together."
South has had more than its share of opportunities. Of the Rebels' nine losses, seven are to teams that have been ranked at one time or another this season by downtown and/or suburban dailies — including Bogan, Marian, Morgan Park, Thornwood, Homewood-Flossmoor and Richards.
It has, at times, been a difficult gantlet for the Rebels to run.
"You can look at it two ways," O'Rourke said. "Our kids have high expectations of themselves. They want to be successful. They hold themselves to a high standard.
"Does it hurt them? Yes, because they're down right now. But I think in the long run playing these teams makes us better, makes our program better."
O'Rourke had praise for point guard Ronald Ryan, who had a team-high eight rebounds.
"He played hard, he played under control," he said. "For a point guard to go down there and get eight rebounds shows how tough he played."
Donald Stone led the Rebels with 14 points.