2016-'17 Season Coverage
updated: 11/28/2011 11:28 PM

Mundelein nets tourney title

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  • Mundelein's Chino Ebube, left, and Sean O'Brien battle for a rebound with Uplift's Corey Gonore during tournament play Monday at Mundelein.

      Mundelein's Chino Ebube, left, and Sean O'Brien battle for a rebound with Uplift's Corey Gonore during tournament play Monday at Mundelein.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Nate Williams, left, drives on Uplift's Jerrard Davis on Monday at Mundelein High School.

      Mundelein's Nate Williams, left, drives on Uplift's Jerrard Davis on Monday at Mundelein High School.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Sean O'Brien, left, Cliff Dunigan and Robert Knar converge on Uplift's Jerrard Davis on Monday at Mundelein High School.

      Mundelein's Sean O'Brien, left, Cliff Dunigan and Robert Knar converge on Uplift's Jerrard Davis on Monday at Mundelein High School.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Sean O'Brien drives on Uplift's Corey Gonore on Monday at Mundelein High School.

      Mundelein's Sean O'Brien drives on Uplift's Corey Gonore on Monday at Mundelein High School.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Robert Knar drives to the hoop against Uplift on Monday at Mundelein High School.

      Mundelein's Robert Knar drives to the hoop against Uplift on Monday at Mundelein High School.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent

Sean O'Brien, as a basketball player, is a righty.

"In everything else, I'm left-handed," the Mundelein junior forward said Monday night.

"Weird, I know.

Dominant, he was in Monday's Mundelein Thanksgiving boys basketball tournament finale.

The 6-foot-6 O'Brien, a point guard back in his grade-school days, scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Mustangs' 89-82 defeat of Uplift.

But he also lifted his 5-0 club with a one-handed pass, from a wing, to classmate Robert Knar.

The third-quarter fastball passed through at least six Titans arms, before it landed in Knar's reliable mitts down low.

Knar (21 points) banked in an easy layup, giving the hosts a 61-49 lead at 0:38.

"That was a left-handed pass," O'Brien said. "Wait it might have been right-handed.

"You know, I'm just not sure," he added, cracking a smile.

It was right-handed.

And it was a beaut.

Mundelein captured the tournament championship for the first time under Mustangs coach Richard Knar, in his eighth season.

"I liked what our offense did tonight," said Coach Knar, whose squad led 39-33 at the break and 64-51 after three quarters. "But I didn't like the way we competed at the defensive end. We need to compete better at that end. Uplift kept attacking the basket, attacking the basket, attacking the basket."

Uplift, throughout most of the game, looked nothing like an 0-4 team. It trailed 73-56, at 6:06 of the final frame, but got relentless, and productive, efforts from guards Jerrard Davis (31 points) and Devin Brown (26 points).

The pair combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter.

"They have some very good one-on-one players," O'Brien said. "We did a good job, defensively, in the third quarter. But we need to do a better job of finishing teams, knocking teams out."

Mundelein junior forward Chino Ebube swung at a rim twice Monday night.

The results: two fourth-quarter dunks.

His first slam puffed Mundelein's advantage to 77-66.

Nearly two minutes later, the 6-3, 175-pound Ebube threw another one down while getting fouled.

He made the freebie.

Ebube finished with 17 points -- all after halftime -- and 10 boards.

"He's so quick, gets up there in a hurry," Knar, the coach, marveled.

Knar's son, who netted 4 treys in the first half, got around on a severely sprained ankle Monday night.

"That ankle had ice on it all day," Dad Knar said. "I'm proud of him proud of how hard played, proud of how he played with the injury."

Afterward, another reason to be proud: Kid Knar earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

O'Brien made the all-tourney team.

Mustangs junior wing Cliff Dunigan scored 12 points and came down with 5 boards; junior guard Quinn Pokora hit for 9 points (3-pointer); and senior guard Nate Brune (6 points) nailed a pair of 3-pointers.

Brooks 63, Lakes 53: Brooks (3-2) earned Mundelein Thanksgiving tournament runner-up honors after its defeat of Lakes (2-3) in Game 2 Monday night. Eagles senior center Justin Schneider scored 14 points, and junior guard/forward Justin Bergeron tossed in 10.

Lakes senior guard Jay-Jay Elvir was named to the all-tourney team.

Barrington 55, Grayslake Central 42: The Broncos wrapped up their tournament effort 3-2.

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