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Former Warren standout Darius Paul didn't wait long to make his impact in the Mid-American Conference.
The Western Michigan 6-foot-8 forward was named the "Freshman of the Year" by the MAC.
The Gurnee native leads all MAC freshmen in scoring (10.6 points per game) and rebounding (5.8).
He is the fourth player in WMU history to win 'Freshman of the Year' honors, joining Booker James (1984), Ben Reed (2002) and David Kool (2007).
"I'm very proud of Darius and very excited for him," said Western Michigan head coach Steve Hawkins on the school's sports website. "I think it's an honor that is richly deserved. As the leading scorer and rebounder among freshmen through the entire season, he showed the ability to remain consistent and solid all year round. We are very proud of him and his progress."
Central Michigan's Chris Fowler, Buffalo's Jarryn Skeete, and Miami's Reggie Johnson also received votes, though Paul's 18 votes were 15 more than second-place Fowler.
Paul started 28 of 30 games for the Broncos (19-11), who won the MAC West Division title.
He has scored in double-figures in 19 games and scored 8 or more points four other times.
Paul is the brother of University of Illinois senior guard Brandon Paul.
Job well done
Congratulations to Stevenson boys basketball coach Pat Ambrose and his Patriots who took home the second-place trophy in the Class 4A state tournament.
In somewhat of a rarity, there are now two head basketball coaches at Stevenson who have participated in a state basketball title game.
Patriots girls basketball coach Tom Dineen directed Buffalo Grove to the 2000 Class AA girls basketball crown.
Speaking of state titles
High school boys basketball fans might have noticed something different about the appearance of four-time state boys champion Proviso East last weekend.
The Pirates' traditional short sleeves jerseys were replaced by the common sleeveless jersey.
But apparently the short sleeves will return next season.
It was broadcast during Saturday's third-place game between Proviso East and Edwardsville that a clerical error resulted in the wrong type of jersey. Next season, the Pirates should be back in the familiar attire they've worn every other season but this one.
Right on target
If you read Friday's sports section, you received the winner of all eight games played in the Class 3A and 4A tournaments in Peoria.
Columnist Marty Maciaszek correctly picked the winner of all four games (two semifinals, third place and championship) in each class.
Simeon won the 4A crown while Morgan Park was best in 3A.
Former Wheeling girls basketball coach Rachel Bauer, who was also a standout basketball player at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, had to be a proud mother over the weekend.
On consecutive days, her daughters each contributed to their teams winning third straight conference championships.
• Navy junior forward Audrey Bauer (Lake Zurich) collected 8 points, 4 assist and 2 steals for the Midshipmen in a 72-52 victory over Holy Cross in the Patriot League title game.
Navy (21-11) became the second team to win three consecutive Patriot League championships. Holy Cross captured four in a row from 1998-2001.
• Wisconsin-Green bay senior Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich)scored 6 points with 3 rebounds and 1 steal as the Phoenix defeated Loyola 54-38 for its third-straight Horizon League tournament title.
DePauw sophomore Savanah Trees, the Daily Herald all-area honorary captain in 2011, scored 16 points in a 69-51 victory over Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III national championship game at the DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Tigers not only captured their second national title in the last seven years and finished with just the seventh undefeated season in Division III history, but they placed themselves in the record book as the only team to win 34 games in a season.
Hanover College sophomore Nick Hermes (Grayslake Central) has been named the Midwest Lacrosse Conference's 'Offensive Player of the Week' for his effort in the Panthers' 24-2 victory against Bethany College.
Hermes, an attacker, scored a school-record 8 goals to lead Hanover to its most-lopsided victory in the three-year history of the program.
He is the first athlete in the team's history to earn a conference player-of-the-week honor.
Hermes scored 8 goals on 13 shots. He netted his first goal late in the first quarter and added two goals in the second period. He scored three in the third quarter and two early in the fourth.
In the win, the Panthers set school single-game records for goals (24), shots (64), shots on goal (46) and ground balls (55).
This season, Hermes leads Hanover's offensive attack with 11 goals on just 22 attempts at the net. He also has 1 assist and 4 ground balls.
Augustana senior Emma Regnier (Grayslake North) was part of the 200 medley relay which posted a school record at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championships. The Vikings took fourth place in the team standings as the team went 3-3 in dual meets and broke six other school records.
Minnesota senior defenseman Megan Bozek, a native ofBuffalo Grove and Stevenson graduate, was named one of the three Gophers to be Top-3 finalists for the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
It is the first time that the Top-3 finalists all represent the same university.
The 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be awarded on March 23, at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis.
As a team captain for the Golden Gophers, Bozek anchors a defense that is first in the NCAA in goals allowed per game (0.81). She ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists with 34 and second among defensemen.
Additionally, Bozek currently has 52 points (18 goals, 34 assists), second among the nation's blue liners, and has 17 multi-point games to her credit in 36 games played.
Bozek spends significant time volunteering in the community, with more than 200 hours logged to assist groups such as HopeKids, Feed My Starving Children, Amplatz Children's Hospital and local elementary schools.
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