1. Seton Academy boys basketball headlines news
The Seton Academy boys basketball team found itself making news on and off the court this year.
The most recent was an incident on Dec. 20 when a Sting player supposedly punched a Leo player with 6.6 seconds remaining in the game. Fans spilled onto the court, but Seton security and South Holland police controlled the crowd and emptied the gym. The game was called with Seton leading 49-47.
The Illinois High School Association on Christmas Eve suspended the players who left the bench for one game as well as Leo coach Noah Cannon and Seton coach Justin Domingo. On Thursday, the IHSA gave the two players involved in the fight an extra game suspension.
In March, the Sting lost a close one to Harrisburg for the Class 2A title in Peoria, but that is not what the game will be remembered for. It was a nasty contest with the Seton players accusing the Harrisburg players of making racial slurs. Fans shouted insults and Seton coach Brandon Thomas took his team off the court and refused the runner-up trophy.
The Illinois High School Association later handed down sanctions against Thomas and Harrisburg coach Randy Smithpeters. Thomas resigned from Seton in May.
2. Spartans girls hoops wins state title
The Marian Catholic girls basketball team won the Class 4A title on Kauai Bradley's put-back buzzer-beater. The Spartans avenged their lone loss by beating Rolling Meadows 48-47 at Illinois State University. They finished with a 20-game winning streak. In July, coach Annie Byrne resigned to take a position with a Bradley sports complex. Dan Murray replaced her.
3. Mount Carmel football captures state title in fourth different class
The Mount Carmel football team became the first team to win state titles in four classes when the Caravan beat Lake Zurich 30-0 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb to win the Class 7A crown. It was the program's 12th state title and 11th under Frank Lenti. Mount Carmel lost several key players from its 2012 team, but Times Offensive Player of the Year Matt Domer and an airtight defense paved the way.
4. Crete-Monee reassigns AD
The Crete-Monee school board decided to reassign athletic director Gene Cahan to classroom despite protests from students and parents. It turned out to be an unpopular move. Over the summer, the board could not decide no who to hire for athletic director, first selecting Greg Schneider, before tabling the appointment and eventually hiring Linda Peete.
5. Caravan baseball nabs state championship
Mount Carmel baseball team won two close sectional games and went on to beat Libertyville 2-1 to win the Class 4A state title in Joliet. In the Class 4A Reavis Sectional, the Caravan came from behind to beat Lyons Township and then in the sectional championship, Carmel took advantage of a wind-blown, dropped pop foul against St. Rita and won the game 6-5. The Caravan were led by pitcher Jeremy Kravetz (Kansas), Jerry Houston (Oregon) and Times Player of the Year Jason Gasser (Northern Illinois), but this was a team effort. The Caravan beat Lockport 2-1 for the Standard bank Stadium Super-Sectional, then blanked Neuqua Valley 8-0 in one semifinal before facing Libertyville.
6. Crete-Monee grad signs with Ole Miss, earns SEC honors
Laquon Treadwell signed with Ole Miss and then the Crete-Monee grad was voted the SEC's freshman of the year. John Konecki took over as Crete's football coach, but the defending Class 6A state champs lost to Providence in the first round of the playoffs. Linebacker Nyles Morgan became one of the top prep linebackers in the nation and will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
7. Rebels badminton team wins and loses in state championship
The T.F. South badminton team won the state title despite No. 1 singles player Jessica Gomez hurting her knee on the Friday before. It was a bittersweet finish as the Rebels doubles team also lost in the championship.
8. Area grapplers grab championships
Thornton's Kris Williams won the Class 3A 113-pound title, his second straight championship after taking first at 106 as a freshman. He since moved and transferred to Thornwood. Mount Carmel's Bryce Brill won a Class 3A 145-pound title.
9. Patriots pursue state soccer championship
The Washington boys soccer team won the Class 2A state title. The Patriots won several close matches along the way and beat Rochester 2-0 in one semifinal, then topped St. Ignatius 2-1 in overtime for the title.
10. State track meet creates triumphs
Grant Nykaza repeat as the Class 1A 1,600-meter champ at the state track meet and the Florida State recruit also won the 3,200. Thornridge's Phillip Thompson won the Class 2A triple jump.
Thornton won the Class 3A 400 relay. The foursome of Cavion Clanton, Tifonte Hunt, Maurice Buchanan and Jauan Wesley finished in 42.24 seconds.
The Illiana Christian boys cross country team brought home second place in the Class 2A meet.